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Cyanobacteria toxin gene detection

Sample and predict harmful algae blooms.

In many aquatic ecosystems world-wide, including drinking water supplies, cyanobacteria and dinoflagellates can proliferate into algal blooms. Members of these microbial phyla can produce an unparalleled array of bioactive secondary metabolites, some of which are potent toxins.

Not all cyanobacteria species produce toxins, so the presence of an algal bloom does not immediately infer a risk of toxins is present. CyanoDTec testing quantitates both the amount of overall cyanobacteria present in a water sample and the number of genes responsible for the production of the toxins.

Toxins associated with blue-green algae are either hepatotoxins (which can cause liver damage) or neurotoxins (which can cause neurological damage).

The hepatotoxins include microcystin, nodularin and cylindrospermopsin while saxitoxin is the primary neurotoxin produced by cyanobacteria.

CyanoDTec is a PCR based DNA testing technology that detects and quantifies the presence of cyanobacteria, blue-green algae, and their toxin-producing genes in aquatic environments.

Genomic information related to toxin synthesis has indicated their environmental and cellular regulators, as well as associated transport mechanisms. The information gained from the discovery of these toxin biosynthetic pathways has enabled the genetic screening of various water matrices.

Cyanobacteria toxins are produced by many strains of cyanobacteria spanning multiple genera, yet as toxicity is not uniform among strains, conventional bacteriological classification methods are unable to accurately predict toxicity or analytical methods for the detection of the toxins. These often take days to perform and are not predictive.

Our validated, rapid molecular test detects cyanotoxin production in fresh, brackish and marine water environments that pose a direct threat to public health.