The steady rise of observations of harmful or toxic algal blooms throughout the world in the past decades constitute a menace for coastal ecosystems and human interests. As a consequence, a number of programs have been launched to monitor the occurrence of harmful and toxic algae. However, the identification is currently done by microscopic examination, which requires a broad taxonomic knowledge, expensive equipment and is very time consuming. In order to facilitate the identification of toxic algae, an inexpensive and easy-to-handle DNA-biosensor has been adapted for the electrochemical detection of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium ostenfeldii. The detection of the toxic algae is based on a sandwich hybridisation, which is carried out on a disposable sensor chip. A set of two probes for the species specific identification of A. ostenfeldii was developed. The specificity of the probes could be shown in dot-blot hybridisation and with the DNA-biosensor. The sensitivity of the DNA-biosensor was optimised with respect to hybridisation temperature and NaCl-concentration and a significant increase of the sensitivity of the DNA-biosensor could be obtained by a fragmentation of the rRNA prior to the hybridisation and by adding a helper oligonucleotide, which binds in close proximity to the probes to the hybridisation.
AWI Organizations > Biosciences > Polar Biological Oceanography
Helmholtz Research Programs > MARCOPOLI (2004-2008) > CO4-Observation and information for coastal management