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Microcystis aeruginosa.jpeg
Microcystis aeruginosa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Subkingdom: Eubacteria
Phylum: Cyanobacteria
Class: Cyanophyceae
Order: Chroococcales
Family: Microcystaceae
Genus: Microcystis
Kützing, 1833

Many (see below)

Microcystis is a microcystin-producing genus of freshwater cyanobacteria which includes the harmful algal bloom Microcystis aeruginosa.[1] Cyanobacteria produce two groups of toxin, neurotoxins and peptide hepatotoxins, such as microcystin and cyanopeptolin.[2][3]


The generic moniker Microcystis derives from the Greek[4] mikros ("small") + kystis ("bladder")


As the etymological derivation implies, Microcystis is characterized by small cells (a few micrometers in diameter), which lack individual sheaths.[4] The cells are usually organized into colonies (large colonies of which may be viewed with the naked eye) that begin in a spherical shape, but losing their coherence to become perforated or irregularly shaped over time. The coloration of the protoplast is a light blue-green, appearing dark or brown due to optical effects of gas-filled vesicles; this can be useful as a distinguishing characteristic when using light microscopy.


Among Microcystis species are the following:[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Oberholster, PJ. "Microcystis aeruginosa: source of toxic microcystins in drinking water". African Journal of Biotechnology March 2004 Volume 3 pp 159-168. Retrieved August 4, 2014. 
  2. ^ "On the Evolution of Nonribosomal Peptide Synthetase Gene Clusters in Cyanobacteria". University of Oslo. 2007. 
  3. ^ Karl Gademann, Cyril Portmann, Judith F. Blom, Michael Zeder and Friedrich Jüttner (2010). "Multiple Toxin Production in the Cyanobacterium Microcystis: Isolation of the Toxic Protease Inhibitor Cyanopeptolin 1020". J. Nat. Prod. doi:10.1021/np900818c. 
  4. ^ a b "Cyanobacteria: Microcystis". The Silica Secchi Disk. Connecticut College: The SilicaSecchi Disk. Retrieved 24 June 2011. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Taxonomy Browser Genus: Microcystis". Taxonomy Browser Genus: Microcystis. AlgaeBase. Retrieved 24 June 2011.