A microcystin degradative bacteria was isolated from natural lakes and its phylogenetic position was confirmed. The 16 s rRNA of the bacteria exhibited 98.5% homology with the 16 s rRNA of Sphingomonas stygia belonging to the alpha subdivision on proteobacteria. The bacteria could degrade microcystins as a sole carbon source, therefore the bacteria utilizes microcystin. The bacteria could degrade microcystins LR, YR and RR, and their specific degradation rates were 0.66 h−1, 1.25 h−1 and 1.90 h−1, respectively. The degradation activity and growth rate of the bacteria was decreased under alkaline pH conditions.

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