Applied and environmental microbiology

Novel derivatives of 9,10-anthraquinone are selective algicides against the musty-odor cyanobacterium Oscillatoria perornata.

PMID 12957919


Musty "off-flavor" in pond-cultured channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) costs the catfish production industry in the United States at least 30 million US dollars annually. The cyanobacterium Oscillatoria perornata (Skuja) is credited with being the major cause of musty off-flavor in farm-raised catfish in Mississippi. The herbicides diuron and copper sulfate, currently used by catfish producers as algicides to help mitigate musty off-flavor problems, have several drawbacks, including broad-spectrum toxicity towards the entire phytoplankton community that can lead to water quality deterioration and subsequent fish death. By use of microtiter plate bioassays, a novel group of compounds derived from the natural compound 9,10-anthraquinone have been found to be much more selectively toxic towards O. perornata than diuron and copper sulfate. In efficacy studies using limnocorrals placed in catfish production ponds, application rates of 0.3 micro M (125 micro g/liter) of the most promising anthraquinone derivative, 2-[methylamino-N-(1'-methylethyl)]-9,10-anthraquinone monophosphate (anthraquinone-59), dramatically reduced the abundance of O. perornata and levels of 2-methylisoborneol, the musty compound produced by O. perornata. The abundance of green algae and diatoms increased dramatically 2 days after application of a 0.3 micro M concentration of anthraquinone-59 to pond water within the limnocorrals. The half-life of anthraquinone-59 in pond water was determined to be 19 h, making it much less persistent than diuron. Anthraquinone-59 appears to be promising for use as a selective algicide in catfish aquaculture.

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2-(Chloromethyl)anthraquinone, 98%