School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, University of New South Wales, Kensington, 2052, Australia; School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Electronic address: [Email]
To date Paralytic shellfish toxin (PST) variants in cyanobacteria have primarily been characterized using high performance liquid chromatography coupled with fluorescence detection. In this study we re-evaluated the PST profiles of five cyanobacterial cultures (Dolichospermum circinale AWQC131C, Aphanizomenon sp. NH-5, Raphidiopsis raciborskii T3, Scytonema cf. crispum CAWBG524 and CAWBG72) and one environmental sample (Microseria wollei) using hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. A total of 35 different PST variants were detected. D. circinale contained the highest number of variants (23), followed by S. cf. crispum CAWBG72 (21). Many of the variants detected in the cultures/environmental sample had not been reported from these strains previously: D. circinale (14 variants), S. cf. crispum CAWBG72 (16), S. cf. crispum CAWBG524 (9), Aphanizomenon sp. (9), R. raciborskii (7), and M. wollei (7). Of particular interest was the detection of M-toxins (Aphanizomenon sp., R. raciborskii, D. circinale). These have previously only been identified from shellfish where they were thought to be metabolites. Well-characterized PST variant profiles are essential for research investigating the genetic basis of PST production, and given that the toxicity of each variants differs, it will assist in refining risk assessments.