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Examine Environmental Regulation of Toxin Production by Cyanobacteria Capable of Disrupting Ecosystems and Endangering Drinking Water Supplies

Bloom-forming cyanobacteria are found in lakes and reservoirs   worldwide and can produce a range of toxins, including hepatotoxic   microcystins and cylindrospermopsin as well as neurotoxic anatoxins.   The most common cyanotoxins found in the Great Lakes are   microcystins, which are detrimental to human, animal and ecosystem   health. The primary source of microcystins is the colony-forming   cyanobacteria Microcystis, and in particular Microcystis aeruginosa,   which frequently dominates in the Great Lakes. Preliminary studies   have documented the presence of microcystins in the Great Lakes, at   times exceeding the recommended limit of 1 µg L-1 of microcystin   established by the World Health Organization for drinking water   supplies. Due to the dependence on these waters as a drinking water   and recreational resource, an increase in large Microcystis blooms   in recent years has caused considerable concern. The ability to   accurately measure the distribution and concentration of microcystin   in the Great Lakes, including the various forms of microcystin, is   therefore essential to protect human and ecosystem health in this   region. The purpose of this study was to systematically map   intracellular and extracellular microcystin concentrations in   portions of the Great Lakes (western Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay, Lake   Huron) which are impacted by excess nutrient inputs. Increased   nutrient inputs foster cyanobacterial growth. The goal is to provide   public health officials and environmental managers with important   information on the abundance and distribution of these toxins.    (eutrophication); (drinking water); (microcystis); (microcystin);   (cyanobacteria); (HAB); (HABs); (HAB's); (harmful algal bloom);   (harmful algal blooms); (algal bloom); (algal blooms); (Lake Erie);   (Lake Huron); (human health); (drinking water)

In progress
Start Date
End Date
Patricia TesterPrincipal Investigator
Associated with 1 projects
NOAA $ 0.00USDEstimates

Funding 11 projects for a total of $502,508.00
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Laboratory Investigation
Scale of Phenomena
Impact of Pollutants
Nutrients, Including Phosphorus
Land Use and Habitat
Lake Basin Connecting Channels
Lake Erie
Lake Huron
State Province
Region Being Monitored
Near and OpenShore Waters
Nearshore Terrestrial
Resource Being Monitored
Human Health
Plankton / Microorganisms
Societal/Surface Water
Beneficial Use Impairment Assessments
Restrictions on Drinking Water Consumption or Taste and Odour Problems
Annex Numbers
Remedial Action Plans and Lakewide Management Plans
Research & Development
Annex 17
Cause-effect inter-relationships of productivity and ecotoxicity
  • Annex Numbers
    Annex Numbers
    Remedial Action Plans and Lakewide Management Plans
    Research & Development
  • Annex 17
    Annex 17
    Cause-effect inter-relationships of productivity and ecotoxicity

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