Determination of microcystins in cyanobacterial blooms by solid-phase microextraction-high-performance liquid chromatography

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • K. F. Poon
  • M. H W Lam
  • P. K S Lam
  • B. S F Wong


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1648-1655
Journal / PublicationEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2001


A solid-phase microextraction (SPME) method was applied to study microcystin (MC) profiles in a natural Microcystis sp. bloom in a freshwater pond in Guangzhou, China. Three dominant MC variants, namely MC-LR, MC-YR, and MC-RR, were quantified. Simultaneous study of their total, extracellular, and intracellular profiles was made possible using SPME coupled to high-performance liquid chromatography. The total and intracellular concentrations of MC-LR in the bloom were 8.67 × 10-2 μg/ml and 1.93 mg/g, respectively. The corresponding concentrations of MC-YR were 1.20 × 10-3 μg/ml and 0.06 mg/g, respectively, and those of MC-RR were 5.57 × 10-2 μg/ml and 1.49 mg/g, respectively. Only MC-LR was detectable in the extracellular phase (1.49 × 10-2 μg/ml) of the bloom, and its concentration was 14% of the intracellular content. Mass balance consideration revealed that only 71.1% of total MC-LR, 36.0% of total MC-YR, and 67.4% of total MC-RR within the cyanobacterial cells were released into the aqueous phase immediately after cell lysis.

Research Area(s)

  • Abundance profile, Cyanobacterial blooms, Hepatotoxins, Microcystins, Solid-phase microextraction

Citation Format(s)