Multiannual variations in Microcystis bloom episodes – Temperature drives shift in species composition

Shira Ninio, Achsa Lupu, Yehudit Viner-Mozzini, Tamar Zohary, Assaf Sukenik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Cyanobacteria are notorious for producing water blooms and for toxin formation. Toxic cyanobacterial blooms present an ever-increasing serious threat to both the quality of drinking water and recreational uses and severely disrupt aquatic ecosystems, worldwide. In many cases, such blooms are dominated by toxic Microcystis sp. that produce a family of structurally similar hepatotoxins, known as microcystins (MCs). Here we present a retrospective analysis of Microcystis seasonal blooms from Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee, Israel) indicating that the population is composed of at least 25 different genotypes and two different chemo-types, whose relative abundance changes over decades. Based on a long-term record of biotic and abiotic parameters and laboratory experiments we propose that minor increase in water temperature, but not in salinity, may affect Microcystis community structure by changing the relative abundance of species/strains from toxic to less or non-toxic species.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101710
JournalHarmful Algae
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Lake Kinneret
  • Microcystins
  • Microcystis community structure
  • Phycoerythrin
  • Toxic cyanobacteria bloom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Plant Science


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