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Kinetics of β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) and 2, 4-diaminobutyric acid (DAB) production by diatoms: the effect of nitrogen

Lage, Sandra, Ström, Linnea, Godhe, Anna, Rydberg, Sara
European journal of phycology 2019 v.54 no.1 pp. 115-125
Cyanobacteria, Miozoa, Navicula, Phaeodactylum tricornutum, Thalassiosira pseudonana, biochemical pathways, biosynthesis, chlorophyll, neurotoxins, nitrogen, nitrogen metabolism, protein content, seafoods
The neurotoxins β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) and 2,4-diaminobutyric acid (DAB) are produced by cyanobacteria, diatoms and dinoflagellates and have been detected in seafood worldwide. Our present knowledge of their metabolism or biosynthesis is limited. In this study, the production of BMAA and DAB as a function of time was monitored in five strains representing four species of diatoms, i.e. Phaeodactylum tricornutum, Thalassiosira weissflogii, Thalassiosira pseudonana and Navicula pelliculosa, previously identified as BMAA and DAB producers. Subsequently, three strains were selected and exposed to three nitrogen treatments – starvation, control (the standard concentration in f/2 medium) and enrichment, because BMAA metabolism has been suggested to be closely associated with cellular nitrogen metabolism in both cyanobacteria and diatoms. Chlorophyll a and total protein concentrations were also determined. Our results indicate that BMAA and DAB production in diatoms is species- and strain-specific. However, production might also be affected by stress, particularly as related to nitrogen starvation and cell density. Furthermore, this study shows a significant correlation between the production of the two neurotoxins which might further suggest common steps in the metabolic pathways.