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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10793/1250

Title: Nucleic acid tests for toxic phytoplankton in Irish waters-phytotest: Marine Strategic RTDI project AT/04/02/02 - research update
Authors: Maher, M.
Kavanagh, S.
Brennan, C.
Moran, M.
Salas, R.
Lyons, J.
Silke, J.
Keywords: Phytoplankton
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: Marine Institute
Citation: Maher, M., Kavanagh, S., Brennan, C., Moran, S., Salas, R., Lyons and Silke, J. (2007). Nucleic acid tests for toxic phytoplankton in Irish waters-phytotest: Marine Strategic RTDI project AT/04/02/02 - research update. In: "Proceedings of the 7th Irish Shellfish Safety Scientific Workshop", Marine Environment and Health Series No. 27, Marine Institute, pp.70-77.
Series/Report no.: Marine Environment and Health Series;27
Abstract: The Phytotest project is a 3 year collaborative project funded through the Marine Strategic Programme in Advanced Technologies as part of the National Development plan 2000-2006. The project partners include the National Diagnostics Centre at NUI Galway and MI. The overall objective of the project is the development of nucleic acid tests (molecular methods) for the identification of key toxic phytoplankton species in Irish waters. In the final year of the programme the aim is to transfer the molecular methods developed in the project into MI to support their monitoring service. Currently, the monitoring for phytoplankton species in Irish waters is performed by light microscopy which can easily identify some plankton species based on distinctive morphological traits. Other species in particular, Pseudonitzschia spp. and Alexandrium spp. cannot be identified to species level by light microscopy. Identification of these species requires more sophisticated microscopic techniques such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). These techniques cannot easily be integrated into a routine testing environment. Molecular methods utilise unique information contained within an organism’s genome in order to identify it. This genetic information can be exploited in a range of molecular test platforms enabling microorganisms to be identified to species level. Additionally, there has been a major drive towards the development of highly automated platforms to support molecular tests for high-throughput testing in routine laboratory settings.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10793/1250
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