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Genetic and environmental factors influencing Microcystis bloom toxicity

The ultimate goal of this project is to forecast the development and   toxicity of the harmful algal bloom, Microcystis. Community   structure of Microcystis and microcystin toxin production are   controlled by both environmental factors (light, nutrients,   grazers), and genetic composition. In order to forecast bloom   toxicity, the numbers of toxic genotypes present in the Microcystis   community and the environmental regulators of toxin production must   be known. Currently, a quantitative PCR assay has been developed to   look at both the genetic and environmental factors controlling   microcystin production. This project will adapt the assay to   quantify not only the number of potentially toxic strains present,   but also how many are actively expressing the microcystin synthetase   genes. The mcyB genotypes of these strains, which indicate   microcystin production, will also be compared with the microcystin   congeners produced to determine any significant relationship.   Finally, the distribution of a potential new cyanobacterial harmful   algal bloom (HAB) invader, Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii, will be   determined using samples collected across Lake Erie. The expected   results of this project will be used to develop models for   forecasting the growth and toxin production in Microcystis blooms in   the Great Lakes and identify the potential for a new invasive   cyanobacterial harmful algal bloom.    (microcystis); (Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii); (algal bloom);   (bloom); (algal blooms); (blooms); (PCR); (polymerase chain   reaction); (PCR assay); (assay); (cyanobacteria); (bacteria);   (harmful algal bloom); (HAB); (Lake Erie); (AIS); (aquatic invasive   species); (ANS); (aquatic nuisance species); (exotic species)

In progress
Start Date
End Date
Scope of Study
Field Investigation
Laboratory Investigation
Scale of Phenomena
Impact of Pollutants
Exotic Species
Land Use and Habitat
Lake Basin Connecting Channels
Lake Erie
State Province
Region Being Monitored
Near and OpenShore Waters
Nearshore Terrestrial
Resource Being Monitored
Human Health
Societal/Surface Water
Beneficial Use Impairment Assessments
Degradation of Aesthetics
Eutrophication or Undesirable Algae
Loss of Fish and Wildlife Habitat
Tainting of Fish and Wildlife Populations
Socio-economic Consideration and Analysis
Human Health Aspects
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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up-to-date information about research projects in the
Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Region.