Rapid Characterization Approach of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) Cyanobacteria in Iowa Waters

You are here

Project Period: 
Project Investigator(s): 
S. Dai, M. Schuller, M. Yacopucci, W. Aldous, R. Jepson, N. Hall
State Hygienic Laboratory at the University of Iowa

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) caused by cyanobacteria are a serious environmental problem in natural water. Exposure to cyanobacteria metabolites can lead to human poisoning and animal mortality. The proposed study will focus on investigating the major HAB species in Iowa by analyzing samples from the current State Beach Monitoring Program. Microcystin positive environmental samples will be used for isolate cultivation and strain library construction. A unique mass spectrometry platform, so called Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS), will be used to develop a rapid strain identification assay. This integrated approach will help determine the major cyanobacteria species that lead to algal blooms in Iowa and establish a cyanobacteria library for rapid species identification. The constructed cyanobacterial library will be shared resources for the research community. Findings from this study will help facilitate environmental risk management and develop mitigation strategies to reduce human and animal health risk.