Algal Toxin Analysis, Algal Identification & Research

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Algal Toxin Analysis

GreenWater Laboratories is one of the first commercial laboratories with the expertise to perform and interpret algal toxin analyses. All analyses are conducted by professionals in the field of chemistry with rigorous QA/QC. Confirmatory analyses are available upon request (e.g. LC/MS/(MS) for ELISA assays) and are many times conducted at no additional cost to you.


(Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay)


ELISAs, are very popular screening assays that provide limited quantitative information for specific groups of algal toxins. ELISAs typically have the ability to detect toxins at low levels for both surface and drinking waters. It should be noted that ELISAs are also prone to sample matrix interference that may confound results, leading to erroneous conclusions. It is important to have the ability to verify any positive ELISA responses with other techniques, such as HPLC coupled with PDA, FL or MS.

Toxins analyzed with ELISA:

Reporting Limit
Microcystins/Nodularin 0.15
Cylindrospermopsin 0.10
Saxitoxin 0.05
Brevetoxin 0.10
Okadaic Acid 0.05


(High Performance Liquid Chromatography)


GWL/CL currently maintains and operates multiple high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) systems with photodiode array (PDA), fluorescence (FL), and mass spectrometry (Ion Trap and Triple Quad) detection. This provides GWL/CL the ability to report data with a high level of confidence as well as the ability to supply confirmatory analysis on ELISA data.

Toxins analyzed with HPLC/MS/MS:

Reporting Limit
Microcystins/Nodularin (-RR, NOD, -YR, -LR, -dmLR, -LY, -LA, -LW, -LF) 0.001-0.05
Cylindrospermopsin 0.05
Anatoxin-a 0.05
Saxitoxins (STX, dcSTX, NEO, C1C2, GTX 1,2,3,4,5, dcGTX23) 0.02-0.6
BMAA (includes isomers DAB & AEG) 1
Domoic Acid 0.05
Lyngbyatoxin-A 0.10
Aplysiatoxin/Debromoaplysiatoxin 1.50
MMPB varies

Reporting limits are based on water samples and may vary depending on spike (LFM) returns. Other toxin analyses are available, such as the AOAC 2005.06 fluorescence method for PSTs. Please call regarding your specific needs.

Rapid Turnaround Times

Most analyses for water samples are completed within 2 business days, but if needed, rapid turnaround times are available on all toxin analyses with results provided as soon as 12 hours after receipt. Please call for rapid TAT requests.

Complex Matrices

GreenWater Laboratories conducts toxin analyses on many different biological matrices, including tissues and food products. We have developed many methods to address exposure to HABs and you can find our research on our articles page. Please contact us with specific requests.

Analysis Request

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

Description of

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


For prompt quotes and timeframes for our services, please call or e-mail us at