Response of Microcystis aeruginosa and Microcystin-LR to electron beam irradiation doses.
Additional Document Info
Harmful cyanobacterial blooms (cyanoHABs) pose threats to human and animal health due to the production of harmful cyanotoxins. Microcystis aeruginosa is a common cyanobacterium associated with these blooms and is responsible for producing the potent cyclic hepatotoxin microcystin-LR (MC-LR). Concerns over the public health implications of these toxins in water supplies have increased due to rising occurrence of these blooms. High energy electron beam (eBeam) irradiation technology presents a promising strategy for the mitigation of both cyanobacterial cells and cyanotoxins within the water treatment process. However, it is imperative that both cellular and chemical responses to eBeam irradiation are understood to ensure efficient treatment. We sought to investigate the effect of eBeam irradiation on M. aeruginosa cells and MC-LR degradation. Results indicate that doses as low as 2 kGy are lethal to M. aeruginosa cells and induce cell lysis. Even lower doses are required for degradation of the parent MC-LR toxin. However, it was observed that there is a delay in cell lysis after irradiation where M. aeruginosa cells may still be metabolically active and able to synthesize microcystin. These results suggest that eBeam may be suitable for cyanoHAB mitigation in water treatment if employed following cell lysis.