The mechanism of different cyanobacterial responses to glyphosate

Haifeng Qian , Wei Lin , Zhenyan Zhang , Yiling Chen , Qi Zhang , Mingjing Ke , Tao Lu


Received October 06, 2021,Revised , Accepted November 30, 2021, Available online February 12, 2022

Volume 35,2023,Pages 258-265

Glyphosate, the most extensively used herbicide globally, has raised ecotoxicological concerns because it can be transported into the aquatic environment and cause adverse effects on the aquatic system. However, the functional mechanism of glyphosate on cyanobacteria are not completely disentangled. In this study, we selected six common cyanobacteria to evaluate glyphosate effects on cyanobacterial growth in monoculture experiment. Results showed that the growth of five tested cyanobacterial species were promoted under different degrees, and only Pseudanabaena was inhibited by glyphosate. In the phylogenetic tree based on gene sequences of 5-enol-pyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS), a target for glyphosate, we found that the position of Pseudanabaena is the closest to plant, which was sensitive to glyphosate, thereby explaining the inhibitory effect of Pseudanabaena following glyphosate exposure. The primary degraded metabolites or analogs did not induce cyanobacterial growth, laterally demonstrating that glyphosate was used as a source of phosphorus to accelerate cyanobacterial growth because phosphorus levels increased in the medium of glyphosate treatment. Overall, this study provides a better understanding of the influence of glyphosate on the composition of aquatic microbiota and explains the mechanism of cyanobacterial response to glyphosate.

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