The Artemia salina bioassay was successfully applied to the analysis of the hepatotoxic cyanobacterial alkaloid and protein synthesis inhibitor, cylindrospermopsin. A dose-dependent response in mortality was observed for purified cylindrospermopsin and LC50 values decreased with time from 8.1 to 0.71μgml-1, between 24 and 72h, respectively. Cylindrospermopsin was slightly less potent than microcystin-LR, with similar LC50 values on a gravimetric basis, but was more toxic to A.salina than the protein synthesis inhibitors, cycloheximide, chloramphenicol and tetracycline. Cylindrospermopsin-containing strains of the cyanobacterium Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii were found to be toxic to A.salina and the LC50 concentration for these strains over time was greater than the LC50 for purified cylindrospermopsin, with the exception of C. raciborskii strain CR1.
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