Nodularia spumigena is a toxic, filamentous cyanobacterium occurring in brackish waters worldwide, yet forms extensive recurrent blooms in the Baltic Sea. N. spumigena produces several classes of non-ribosomal peptides (NRPs) that are active against several key metabolic enzymes. Previously, strains from geographically distant regions showed distinct NRP metabolic profiles. In this work, conspecific diversity in N. spumigena was studied using chemical and genetic approaches. NRP profiles were determined in 25 N. spumigena strains isolated in different years and from different locations in the Baltic Sea using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Genetic diversity was assessed by targeting the phycocyanin intergenic spacer and flanking regions (cpcBA-IGS). Overall, 14 spumigins, 5 aeruginosins, 2 pseudaeruginosins, 2 nodularins, 36 anabaenopeptins, and one new cyanopeptolin-like peptide were identified among the strains. Seven anabaenopeptins were new structures; one cyanopeptolin-like peptide was discovered in N. spumigena for the first time. Based on NRP profiles and cpcBA-IGS sequences, the strains were grouped into two main clusters without apparent influence of year and location, indicating persistent presence of these two subpopulations in the Baltic Sea. This study is a major step in using chemical profiling to explore conspecific diversity with a higher resolution than with a sole genetic approach.
Mazur-Marzec, H., Bertos-Fortis, M., Toruńska-Sitarz, A., Fidor, A., & Legrand, C. (2016). Chemical and genetic diversity of nodularia spumigena from the baltic sea. Marine Drugs, 14(11). https://doi.org/10.3390/md14110209