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Effective Early Treatment of Microcystis Exponential Growth and Microcystin Production with Hydrogen Peroxide and Hydroxyapatite


: Mitigating cyanotoxin production is essential to protecting aquatic ecosystems and public health. However, current harmful cyanobacterial bloom (HCB) control strategies have significant shortcomings. Because predicting HCBs is difficult, current HCB control strategies are employed when heavy HCBs have already occurred. Our pilot study developed an effective HCB prediction approach that is employed before exponential cyanobacterial growth and massive cyanotoxin pro‐ duction can occur. We used a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay targeting the toxin‐encoding gene mcyA to signal the timing of treatment. When control measures were applied at an early growth stage or one week before the exponential growth of Microcystis aeruginosa (pre‐ dicted by qPCR signals), both hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and the adsorbent hydroxyapatite (HAP) effectively stopped M. aeruginosa growth and microcystin (MC) production. Treatment with either H2O2 (10 mg∙L−1) or HAP (40 μm particles at 2.5 g∙L−1) significantly reduced both mcyA gene copies and MC levels compared with the control in a dose‐dependent manner. While both treatments re‐ duced MC levels similarly, HAP showed a greater ability to reduce mcyA gene abundance. Under laboratory culture conditions, H2O2 and HAP also prevented MC production when applied at the early stages of the bloom when mcyA gene abundance was below 105 copies∙mL−1.


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