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Environ Sci Technol. 2013 Aug 20;47(16):8999-9013. doi: 10.1021/es401245k. Epub 2013 Aug 1.

Monitoring approaches for a toxic cyanobacterial bloom.

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Centre of Advanced Study in Botany, Banaras Hindu University , Varanasi-221 005, India.


Cyanobacterial blooms, dominated by Microcystis sp. and associated microcystin variants, have been implicated in illnesses of humans and animals. Little is known regarding the formation of blooms and the presence of cyanotoxin variants in water bodies. Furthermore, the role played by ecological parameters, in regulating Microcystis blooms is complicate and diverse. Local authorities responsible for water management are often faced with the challenging task of dealing with cyanobacterial blooms. Therefore, the development of suitable monitoring approaches to characterize cyanobacterial blooms is an important goal. Currently, various biological, biochemical and physicochemical methods/approaches are being used to monitor cyanobacterial blooms and detect microcystins in freshwater bodies. Because these methods can vary as to the information they provide, no single approach seemed to be sufficient to accurately monitor blooms. For example, immunosensors are more suited for monitoring the presence of toxins in clear water bodies while molecular methods are more suited to detect potentially toxic strains. Thus, monitoring approaches should be tailored for specific water bodies using methods based on economic feasibility, speed, sensitivity and field applicability. This review critically evaluates monitoring approaches that are applicable to cyanobacterial blooms, especially those that focus on the presence of Microcystis, in freshwater bodies. Further, they were characterized and ranked according to their cost, speed, sensitivity and selectivity. Suggested improvements were offered as well as future research endeavors to accommodate anticipated environmental changes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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