Commonly observed

Potentially Toxigenic (PTOX) Cyanobacteria

At GreenWater Laboratories, we have been developing a list of the suspected and confirmed potentially toxigenic (PTOX) cyanobacteria in order to guide our analysts in toxin analysis recommendations. Below are just a few examples of commonly observed freshwater cyanobacteria and their associated cyanotoxins.


Anabaena
Dolichospermum
Sphaerospermopsis

Benthic and planktonic nostocalean cyanobacteria (filamentous) that are commonly observed in bloom samples. Identification to species (and sometimes genus) level requires the presence of akinetes (resting cells) and heterocytes (nitrogen fixation cells). Therefore, these genera are grouped in order to provide conservative recommendations. This group has illustrated the potential to produce the following toxins:

  • Microcystins
  • Saxitoxins (Paralytic Shellfish Toxins)
  • Anatoxin-a
  • Anatoxin-a(s)
  • Cylindrospermopsin / Epi-cylindrospermopsin
Anabaena

Aphanizomenon
Chrysosporum
Cuspidothrix

Similar to the Dolichospermum/Anabaena/Sphaerospermopsis group, these filamentous planktonic cyanobacteria are also commonly observed in bloom samples. Additionally, identification to species (and sometimes genus) level requires the presence of akinetes (resting cells) and heterocytes (nitrogen fixation cells). Therefore, these genera are grouped in order to provide conservative recommendations. This group has illustrated the potential to produce the following toxins:

  • Saxitoxins (Paralytic Shellfish Toxins)
  • Anatoxin-a
  • Cylindrospermopsin
 Aphanizomenon

Raphidiopsis
Cylindrospermopsis

These planktonic cyanobacteria are commonly observed in water column and bloom samples. The presence (in Cylindrospermopsis) or absence (in Raphidiopsis) of heterocytes was the main characteristic used to distinguish these genera of cyanobacteria. A recent manuscript utilized molecular methods on both described genera and the authors were not able to rationalize their current classifications. Therefore, Cylindrospermopsis has been merged with Raphidiopsis due to the latter nomenclature taking precedence. These cyanobacteria has been illustrated to produce the following toxins:

  • Saxitoxins (Paralytic Shellfish Toxins)
  • Anatoxin-a
  • Cylindrospermopsin
 Cylindrospermopsis

Gloeotrichia

This planktonic colonial cyanobacterium is comprised of radiating heteropolar filaments that have been illustrated to produce the following toxin:

  • Microcystins
 Gloeotrichia

Microseira wollei
(Lyngbya wollei)

This sheathed filamentous cyanobacterium that can form floating or benthic mats and is considered a nuisance cyanobacteria in many ecosystems. Microseira wollei has been illustrated to produce the following toxins:

  • Saxitoxins (Paralytic Shellfish Toxins)
  • Cylindrospermopsin / Epi-cylindrospermopsin
 Lyngbya wollei

Microcystis

A commonly observed planktonic colonial cyanobacteria that is known to grow in dense blooms and typically produces the following toxin:

  • Microcystins
 Microcystis

Planktothrix

A planktonic filamentous group of cyanobacteria that is commonly observed in bloom samples, differentiated from Oscillatoria by gas vacuole presence. Planktothrix has been illustrated to produce the following toxins:

  • Microcystins
  • Anatoxin-a
 Planktothrix

Woronichinia

A planktonic cyanobacterium that grows in the colonial form similar to Microcystis, but with elongated (potato shaped) cells. Woronichinia has been illustrated to produce the following toxin:

  • Microcystins
 Woronichinia

Oscillatoria

Benthic/Epiphytic filamentous cyanobacteria (without sheaths) that has been illustrated to produce the following toxins:

  • Aplysiatoxins
  • Microcystins
  • Anatoxin-a / Homoanatoxin-a
  • Cylindrospermopsin / Epi-cylindrospermopsin
 Oscillatoria

Phormidium
Microcoleus

Benthic/Epiphytic filamentous cyanobacteria (with or without sheaths) that has been illustrated to produce the following toxins:

  • Aplysiatoxins
  • Microcystins
  • Anatoxin-a / Homoanatoxin-a
  • Saxitoxins (Paralytic Shellfish Toxins)
Phormidium

GreenWater Laboratories CyanoLab


The Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) and Algal Toxin Testing Lab

The following links provide our clients with a chain of custody (COC - analysis request form), information about our services, and general sampling instructions. Please call or email us if you have any questions and our experts will be happy to assist.

Chain of Custody
Form

Analysis Request Form - Algal toxins

Please fill out our Analysis Request Form and ship it with your sample(s). This will also serve as a chain of custody (COC).

Description of
Services

Description of Services

The linked document explains some of our services, including descriptions of the different types of analyses we conduct.

Sampling
Instructions

Sampling Instructions

The linked instructions include how to sample a bloom and how to package samples for shipment to our Lab. To order a sample kit, send us an email.

Contact Us

(386) 328-0882

(877) 869-2542

205 Zeagler Drive, Suite 302

Palatka, FL 32177