The effects of microcystins on Daphnia galeata, a typical filter-feeding grazer in eutrophic lakes, were investigated. To do this, the microcystin-producing wild-type strain Microcystis aeruginosa PCC7806 was compared with a mcy− PCC7806 mutant, which could not synthesize any variant of microcystin due to mutation of a microcystin synthetase gene. The wild-type strain was found to be poisonous to D. galeata, whereas the mcy− mutant did not have any lethal effect on the animals. Both variants of PCC7806 were able to reduce the Daphnia ingestion rate. Our results suggest that microcystins are the most likely cause of the daphnid poisoning observed when wild-type strain PCC7806 is fed to the animals, but these toxins are not responsible for inhibition of the ingestion process
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