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Fadel A.,University Paris Est Creteil | Fadel A.,National Center for Remote Sensing | Atoui A.,Laboratory of Microorganisms and Food Irradiation | Lemaire B.J.,University Paris Est Creteil | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment | Year: 2015

Eutrophication and harmful algal blooms have become a worldwide environmental problem. Understanding the mechanisms and processes that control algal blooms is of great concern. The phytoplankton community of Karaoun Reservoir, the largest water body in Lebanon, is poorly studied, as in many freshwater bodies around the Mediterranean Sea. Sampling campaigns were conducted semi-monthly between May 2012 and August 2013 to assess the dynamics of its phytoplankton community in response to changes in physical-chemical and hydrological conditions. Karaoun Reservoir is a monomictic waterbody and strongly stratifies between May and August. Changes in its phytoplankton community were found to be a result of the interplay between water temperature, stratification, irradiance, nutrient availability and water level. Thermal stratification established in spring reduced the growth of diatoms and resulted in their replacement by green algae species when nutrient availability was high and water temperatures lower than 22 °C. At water temperature higher than 25 °C and low nutrient concentrations in summer, blooms of the cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa occurred. Despite different growth conditions in other lakes and reservoir, cyanobacterium Aphanizomenon ovalisporum dominated at temperatures lower than 23 °C in weakly stratified conditions in early autumn and dinoflagellate Ceratium hirundinella dominated in mixed conditions, at low light intensity and a water temperature of 19 °C in late autumn. We believe that the information presented in this paper will increase the knowledge about phytoplankton dynamics in the Mediterranean region and contribute to a safer usage of reservoir waters. © 2015, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

Atoui A.,Laboratory of Microorganisms and Food Irradiation | Hafez H.,Lebanese University | Slim K.,Laboratory of Microorganisms and Food Irradiation | Slim K.,Lebanese University
Water and Environment Journal | Year: 2013

The increasing occurrence of cyanobacterial bloom in freshwaters worldwide is of great importance because of public health risks. In addition, they are very likely to have negative impact on ecological and economic aspects. In this study, the seasonal succession of phytoplankton population in Lake Karaoun in Lebanon was monitored from May 2009 to June 2011. The physicochemical parameters of lake water were then monitored for 1 year, from June 2010 until June 2011, to correlate the physicochemical parameters with the phytoplankton population in the lake. Our results showed, for the first time in Lebanon, that the eutrophied Lake Karaoun has been under the invasion of toxic cyanobacterial blooms since May 2009. The cyanobacterial bloom was persistent from late spring (May) until late fall (December) for 2 consecutive years. The high water temperature in the summer season is the main factor that has been affecting the growth of the cyanobacteria. The most frequently encountered bloom-forming species were Microcystis aeruginosa and Aphanizomenon ovalisporum, which were either present individually or coexistent. The obtained results showed that during the period of cyanobacterial bloom, a deterioration of water quality defined by low levels of dissolved oxygen, total dissolved solids, and electric conductivity was reported. During cyanobacterial bloom period, the concentration of the orthophosphate-P (PO4-P) was very minimal. The measured high value of chlorophyll-a concentration during cyanobacterial bloom period (48.6 μg/L) was attributed to high photosynthetic activity. Cyanobacterial blooms can cause a variety of water-quality problems in Lake Karaoun in addition to human health risk. © 2012 The Authors. Water and Environment Journal © 2012 CIWEM.

Atoui A.,Laboratory of Microorganisms and Food Irradiation | El Khoury A.,Saint - Joseph University | Kallassy M.,Saint - Joseph University | Lebrihi A.,National Graduate School of Agronomy, Toulouse
International Journal of Food Microbiology | Year: 2012

Zearalenone (ZEA) is a mycotoxin produced by some species of Fusarium, especially by Fusarium graminearum and F. culmorum. ZEA induces hyperoestrogenic responses in mammals and can result in reproductive disorders in farm animals. In the present study, a real-time PCR (qPCR) assay has been successfully developed for the detection and quantification of Fusarium graminearum based on primers targeting the gene PKS13 involved in ZEA biosynthesis. A standard curve was developed by plotting the logarithm of known concentrations of F. graminearum DNA against the cycle threshold (Ct) value. The developed real time PCR system was also used to analyze the occurrence of zearalenone producing F. graminearum strains on maize. In this context, DNA extractions were performed from thirty-two maize samples, and subjected to real time PCR. Maize samples also were analyzed for zearalenone content by HPLC. F. graminearum DNA content (pg DNA/ mg of maize) was then plotted against ZEA content (ppb) in maize samples. The regression curve showed a positive and good correlation (R 2=0.760) allowing for the estimation of the potential risk from ZEA contamination. Consequently, this work offers a quick alternative to conventional methods of ZEA quantification and mycological detection and quantification of F. graminearum in maize. © 2011.

Fadel A.,Laboratory of Microorganisms and Food Irradiation | Fadel A.,ParisTech National School of Bridges and Roads | Atoui A.,Laboratory of Microorganisms and Food Irradiation | Lemaire B.J.,ParisTech National School of Bridges and Roads | And 3 more authors.
Toxins | Year: 2014

Chrysosporum ovalisporum is a cylindrospermopsin toxin producing cyanobacterium that was reported in several lakes and reservoirs. Its growth dynamics and toxin distribution in field remain largely undocumented. Chrysosporum ovalisporum was reported in 2009 in Karaoun Reservoir, Lebanon. We investigated the factors controlling the occurrence of this cyanobacterium and vertical distribution of cylindrospermopsin in Karaoun Reservoir. We conducted bi-weekly sampling campaigns between May 2012 and August 2013. Results showed that Chrysosporum ovalisporum is an ecologically plastic species that was observed in all seasons. Unlike the high temperatures, above 26 °C, which is associated with blooms of Chrysosporum ovalisporum in Lakes Kinneret (Israel), Lisimachia and Trichonis (Greece) and Arcos Reservoir (Spain), Chrysosporum ovalisporum in Karaoun Reservoir bloomed in October 2012 at a water temperature of 22 °C during weak stratification. Cylindrospermopsin was detected in almost all water samples even when Chrysosporum ovalisporum was not detected. Chrysosporum ovalisporum biovolumes and cylindrospermopsin concentrations were not correlated (n = 31, r2= −0.05). Cylindrospermopsin reached a maximum concentration of 1.7 μg L−1. The vertical profiles of toxin concentrations suggested its possible degradation or sedimentation resulting in its disappearance from the water column. The field growth conditions of Chrysosporum ovalisporum in this study revealed that it can bloom at the subsurface water temperature of 22 °C increasing the risk of its development and expansion in lakes located in temperate climate regions. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Fadel A.,ParisTech National School of Bridges and Roads | Fadel A.,Laboratory of Microorganisms and Food Irradiation | Lemaire B.J.,ParisTech National School of Bridges and Roads | Lemaire B.J.,Agro ParisTech | And 6 more authors.
Lakes and Reservoirs: Research and Management | Year: 2014

Many reservoirs have been constructed throughout the world during the 20th century, with many also suffering from eutrophication. The resulting increased phytoplankton biomass in reservoirs impairs their use. Except for Lake Kinneret, the environmental status of lakes and reservoirs in the Middle East is poorly documented. Karaoun reservoir, also known as Qaroun, Qaraoun or Qarun, is the largest water body in Lebanon, having been constructed for irrigation and hydropower production. This present study reviews Karaoun reservoir, including its characteristics, uses, water quality and phytoplankton succession, to assess the environmental status of the reservoir on the basis of the few existing previous publications about the reservoir. Since 2004, which is 39 years after its construction, the reservoir is considered to be hypereutrophic, with low phytoplankton biodiversity and regular blooms of toxic cyanobacteria. The nutrient and trace metal concentrations would not prevent use of the reservoir for a drinking water supply for Beirut, as is currently being planned, although not all the micropollutants in the lake were documented. Karaoun reservoir is compared to other monitored lakes and reservoirs around the Mediterranean Sea. They share annual toxic cyanobacteria blooms of Aphanizomenon ovalisporum and of Microcystis aeruginosa. The phytoplankton composition and succession of Karaoun reservoir is more similar to El Gergal reservoir (Spain) than nearby natural lakes such as Lake Kinneret (Israel) and Lake Trichonis (Greece). Phytoplankton diversity in Karaoun reservoir was the lowest, due to higher nutrient concentrations and a larger decrease in water level in the dry season. Karaoun reservoir represents an interesting example of the potential response of the phytoplankton community in other lakes and reservoirs during the drought periods expected to occur as a result of global climate change. © 2014 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

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