Friend and Foe: Illustration of common blue-green algal species Microcystis


Sometimes in nature it’s not what you are but who you are. A great example of this is the cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) from the genus Microcystis. They are common in freshwater habitats. Some of these are showing bright potential as a source of biofuels. However, some of these have less benevolent potential. I have heard much lately about algal blooms. Some are harmless while others have potential to harm wildlife and unsuspecting humans who eat poisoned seafood.

Some species, like Microcystis aeruginosa, can produce microcystins, or toxins, that can cause major damage to a person’s liver.

cyanobacterial art, science art, bacteria, illustrated bacteria
Illustration of Microcystis
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