Cyanobacterial Monitoring


A Spanish collaboration, led by researchers at the Center for Astrobiology (CSIC-INTA), develops technology for the detection of cyanobacteria.

Cyanobacteria are Gram-negative photosynthetic prokaryotes that are widespread on Earth. Eutrophication and global warming make some aquatic ecosystems behave as bioreactors that trigger rapid and massive cyanobacterial growth with remarkable economic and health consequences. Rapid and efficient early warning systems are required to support decisions by water body authorities. We have produced 17 specific antibodies to the most frequent cyanobacterial strains blooming in freshwater ecosystems, some of which are toxin producers. A sandwich-type antibody microarray immunoassay (CYANOCHIP) was developed for the simultaneous testing of any of the 17 strains, or other closely related strains, in field samples from different habitats (water, rocks, and sediments). We titrated and tested all of the antibodies in succession using a fluorescent sandwich microarray immunoassay. Although most showed high specificity, we applied a deconvolution method based on graph theory to disentangle the few existing cross-reactions.

The CYANOCHIP sensitivity ranged from 102 to 104 cells mL–1, with most antibodies detecting approximately 102 cells mL–1. We validated the system by testing multiple isolates and crude natural samples from freshwater reservoirs and rocks, both in the laboratory and by in situ testing in the field. The results demonstrated that CYANOCHIP is a valuable tool for the sensitive and reliable detection of cyanobacteria for early warning and research purposes.

More information

Paper: “CYANOCHIP: An Antibody Microarray for High-Taxonomical-Resolution Cyanobacterial Monitoring”,
Y. Blanco, A. Quesada, I. Gallardo-Carreño, J. Aguirre, V. Parro.
Environmental Science and Technology 2015. DOI: 10.1021/es5051106.


Víctor Parro, Head of Departamento de Evolución Molecular, Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA)

Unidad de Cultura Científica at CAB: Luis Cuesta


Fuente: UCC-CAB

Fecha: 2015-02-02


Imágenes adicionales:

Figura 1: Fotos de 2 embalses de la Comunidad de Madrid (arriba) y los resultados de CYANOCHIP obtenidos en el campo en abril de 2014. Créditos: los autores.

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