Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 36550062
Link to DOI – 10.1111/1462-2920.16322
Environ Microbiol. 2023 Mar;25(3):751-765
The formation of intracellular amorphous calcium carbonates (iACC) has been recently observed in a few cultured strains of Microcystis, a potentially toxic bloom-forming cyanobacterium found worldwide in freshwater ecosystems. If iACC-forming Microcystis are abundant within blooms, they may represent a significant amount of particulate Ca. Here, we investigate the significance of iACC biomineralization by Microcystis. First, the presence of iACC-forming Microcystis cells has been detected in several eutrophic lakes, indicating that this phenomenon occurs under environmental conditions. Second, some genotypic (presence/absence of ccyA, a marker gene of iACC biomineralization) and phenotypic (presence/absence of iACC) diversity have been detected within a collection of strains isolated from one single lake. This illustrates that this trait is frequent but also variable within Microcystis even at a single locality. Finally, one-third of publicly available genomes of Microcystis were shown to contain the ccyA gene, revealing a wide geographic and phylogenetic distribution within the genus. Overall, the present work shows that the formation of iACC by Microcystis is common under environmental conditions. While its biological function remains undetermined, this process should be further considered regarding the biology of Microcystis and implications on the Ca geochemical cycle in freshwater environments.