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Development and environmental application of a genus-specific quantitative PCR approach for Pseudo-nitzschia species
Fitzpatrick, E.; Caron, D.A.; Schnetzer, A. (2010). Development and environmental application of a genus-specific quantitative PCR approach for Pseudo-nitzschia species. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 158(5): 1161-1169. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-009-1383-y
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Fitzpatrick, E.
  • Caron, D.A.
  • Schnetzer, A.

Abstract
    Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) for the identification and quantification of microbes has become a common tool for the study of harmful algal blooms (HABs). We developed a qPCR method for the diatom genus Pseudo-nitzschia. Several species of this genus form toxic blooms through the production of the neurotoxin domoic acid (DA). Outbreaks of toxicity attributed to DA along the US west coast have caused sickness and death of marine mammals and seabirds through food web contamination. The method developed here quantifies Pseudo-nitzschia spp. at low abundances in natural samples, thereby, providing a method to improve our understanding of the environmental conditions leading to blooms of these species. This has been accomplished previously by techniques for identification and quantification that are slow and laborious compared to qPCR. The approach was successfully tested and validated using eight species of Pseudo-nitzschia and 33 non-target organisms and employed to follow local bloom dynamics.

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