Many times, a client has an algal bloom but does not know what it is. The approach we recommend is to send the sample to determine if the bloom is comprised of potentially toxigenic (toxin producing) cyanobacteria. If the sample is dominated by cyanobacteria, recommendations are made for analyses based on what is present.
We find this approach equally beneficial to us and our clients. Using algal identification prior to analysis helps us to learn more about potential toxin producers and helps to save the client money by preventing unnecessary analyses/testing. The PTOX cyanobacteria screen can be completed within hours of receiving the sample, with toxin testing results provided within 24 hours. We continually scour the literature to make sure our recommendations are up to date, both taxonomically and with regard to potential toxin producers.
Our phycologists have over 4 decades of experience with algal identification, and we strive to remain up to date with the continually changing field of algal taxonomy. All identifications are made to the lowest practical level.
When a quantitative analysis of the algal community in a sample is required, an algal identification and enumeration can be requested. Counts can be performed on only a single group of algae (i.e. cyanobacteria) or on the entire algal population. Results for each species are recorded in natural units/mL (cells, colonies, filaments) and cells/mL. Numbers for each group of algae (i.e. diatoms, green algae, cyanobacteria) are tallied as well as the total sample cell density. If desired, biovolume estimates can be made for an additional cost. For a full description of phycological services, click on the below Description of Services link.
GreenWater Laboratories now offers private algal taxonomy workshops, to be held on site at GreenWater Laboratories in Palatka (groups under 4) or in your own facilities.
Andrew Chapman is a skilled phycologist and has been conducting workshops for over 10 years. Workshops typically take place over 1-3 days. Please email Andrew to find out more about this opportunity.