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==Nutrient analysers==
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==ALGADEC - Detection of toxic algae with a semi-automated nucleic acid biosensor==
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[[Image:ALGADEC_1.jpg|thumb|left|'''Figure 1''' Bloom of ''Noctiluca scintillas'' in October 2002, Leigh, New Zealand.]]
  
This article discusses two types of analysers to measure nutrients: a wet chemical analyser and an optical nitrate analyser. A nutrient analyser is an example of an [[oceanographic instrument]] to measure the concentration of certain [[nutrients]] (e.g. nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, phosphate and silicate) [[in situ]].
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Microalgae are the major producers of [[Biomass|biomass]] and organic compounds in the aquatic environment. Among the marine microalgae there are 97 toxic species (mainly dinoflagellates) known to have the potential to form "[[Harmful_algal_blooms|Harmful Algal Blooms]]", the so called HABs (Fig. 1).
 
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In recent decades, the public health and economic impacts of toxic algae species appear to have increased in frequency, intensity and geographic distribution (Zingone and Enevoldsen, 2000<ref name="Z&E">Zingone, A. & Enevoldsen, H.O. (2000). The diversity of harmful algal blooms: a challenge for science and management. Ocean & coastal management, 43, 725-748.</ref>, Daranas et al., 2001<ref name="D">Daranas A. H., Norte M. and Fernandez, J. J. (2001). Toxic marine microalgae, Toxicon, 39, 1101-1132.</ref>, Hallegraeff, 2003<ref name="H">Hallegraeff G. M. (2003). Harmful algal blooms: a global overview. In G.M. Hallegraeff, D.M. Anderson & A.D. Cembella (Eds.), Manual on Harmful Marine Microalgae (pp. 25-49). United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.</ref>, Moestrup, 2004.<ref name="M"> Moestrup, O. (2004). IOC Taxonomic Reference list of Toxic Algae. In O. Moestrup (Ed.), IOC taxonomic reference list of toxic algae. Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the UNESCO.</ref>). In order to minimise the damage to human health or living resources, such as shellfish and fish, as well as economic losses to fishermen, aquaculture and the tourist industry, efficient [[State of the Art Overview on Field Observation Techniques (Theme 9)|monitoring methods]] are required for monitoring potentially toxic algal species (identification and quantification) (Andersen et al., 2003.<ref name="A"> Andersen P., Enevoldsen H. and Anderson, D.M. (2003). Harmful algal monitoring programme and action plan design. In G.M. Hallegraeff, D.M. Anderson & A.D. Cembella (Eds.), Manual on Harmful Marine Microalgae (pp. 627-647). United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.</ref>).
Nutrient analysers are [[oceanographic instruments]] to measure the concentration of certain [[nutrients]] [[in situ]]. While most measurements of nutrients are still made by taking water samples for later analysis in the lab a variety of [[in situ]] instruments has become available that automatically measure nutrient concentrations at pre-programmed intervals. These instruments allow a much higher temporal resolution of measurements than what can be achieved by taking samples.
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In order to detect toxic algae in the field, a portable semi-automated nucleic acid biosensor was developed in the ALGADEC project www.algadec.net. This device enables the electrochemical detection of microalgae from water samples in less than two hours, without the need of expensive equipment.
 
 
Most of the nutrient analysers are based on proven wet-chemical laboratory analysis methods. In recent years nitrate analysers based on the absorbance of ultraviolet light by nitrate in water have been introduced. Both are discussed in this article.
 

Revision as of 09:31, 1 July 2008

ALGADEC - Detection of toxic algae with a semi-automated nucleic acid biosensor

Figure 1 Bloom of Noctiluca scintillas in October 2002, Leigh, New Zealand.

Microalgae are the major producers of biomass and organic compounds in the aquatic environment. Among the marine microalgae there are 97 toxic species (mainly dinoflagellates) known to have the potential to form "Harmful Algal Blooms", the so called HABs (Fig. 1). In recent decades, the public health and economic impacts of toxic algae species appear to have increased in frequency, intensity and geographic distribution (Zingone and Enevoldsen, 2000[1], Daranas et al., 2001[2], Hallegraeff, 2003[3], Moestrup, 2004.[4]). In order to minimise the damage to human health or living resources, such as shellfish and fish, as well as economic losses to fishermen, aquaculture and the tourist industry, efficient monitoring methods are required for monitoring potentially toxic algal species (identification and quantification) (Andersen et al., 2003.[5]).

In order to detect toxic algae in the field, a portable semi-automated nucleic acid biosensor was developed in the ALGADEC project www.algadec.net. This device enables the electrochemical detection of microalgae from water samples in less than two hours, without the need of expensive equipment.
  1. Zingone, A. & Enevoldsen, H.O. (2000). The diversity of harmful algal blooms: a challenge for science and management. Ocean & coastal management, 43, 725-748.
  2. Daranas A. H., Norte M. and Fernandez, J. J. (2001). Toxic marine microalgae, Toxicon, 39, 1101-1132.
  3. Hallegraeff G. M. (2003). Harmful algal blooms: a global overview. In G.M. Hallegraeff, D.M. Anderson & A.D. Cembella (Eds.), Manual on Harmful Marine Microalgae (pp. 25-49). United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
  4. Moestrup, O. (2004). IOC Taxonomic Reference list of Toxic Algae. In O. Moestrup (Ed.), IOC taxonomic reference list of toxic algae. Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the UNESCO.
  5. Andersen P., Enevoldsen H. and Anderson, D.M. (2003). Harmful algal monitoring programme and action plan design. In G.M. Hallegraeff, D.M. Anderson & A.D. Cembella (Eds.), Manual on Harmful Marine Microalgae (pp. 627-647). United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.