Diatoms: A Novel Source for the Neurotoxin BMAA in Aquatic Environments
2014 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 9, no 1, e84578Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig's disease is a neurological disorder linked to environmental exposure to a non-protein amino acid, beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA). The only organisms reported to be BMAA-producing, are cyanobacteria - prokaryotic organisms. In this study, we demonstrate that diatoms - eukaryotic organisms - also produce BMAA. Ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry revealed the occurrence of BMAA in six investigated axenic diatom cultures. BMAA was also detected in planktonic field samples collected on the Swedish west coast that display an overrepresentation of diatoms relative to cyanobacteria. Given the ubiquity of diatoms in aquatic environments and their central role as primary producers and the main food items of zooplankton, the use of filter and suspension feeders as livestock fodder dramatically increases the risk of human exposure to BMAA-contaminated food.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 9, no 1, e84578
Biological Sciences Analytical Chemistry
Research subject Analytical Chemistry; Plant Physiology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-100864DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0084578ISI: 000329460100066OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-100864DiVA: diva2:697833