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Projects

A Study of Gambierdiscus ‘Super Bugs’ ...

Ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) is the most common algal-borne illness worldwide. It is a debilitating syndrome caused by consumption of fish contaminated with ciguatoxins (CTXs) produced by the dinoflagellate Gambierdiscus ...
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An Early Warning System for Pseudo-nitzschia Harmf...

Blooms of some species of the diatom Pseudo-nitzschia produce a neurotoxin that accumulates in shellfish, which can cause illness and even death in humans who eat them. Shellfish managers monitor ...
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Application of Quantitative Molecular Methods to C...

This project supports development for two lab-based quantitative molecular methods for more rapid, accurate detection of Alexandrium catenella resting cysts in sediment from the Gulf of Maine, Puget Sound, and ...
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Characterization of an Algicidal Agent Produced by...

We examined a biological control agent isolated from a bacteria species that may provide a mechanism for halting the growth of certain types of toxic dinoflagellate harmful algal blooms. We ...
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Comparative Analysis of Quantitative Detection Met...

We are providing a thorough comparison of two different genetic methods used to quickly count the number of harmful algae present in a water sample. Our results will improve harmful ...
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Development and Implementation of an Operational H...

This project developed a prototype operational statistical nowcast/forecast system for three harmful algal bloom (HAB) organisms in the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem, specifically the dinoflagellates Karlodinium veneficum, Prorocentrum minimus, and the ...
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Differences in the Toxicity of the Alga Gambierdis...

The goal of this project is to advance our understanding of toxins produced by different species of the alga Gambierdiscus and how these toxins and their varieties move through the ...
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Emerging Algal Toxins in the California Current Sy...

Surveys in California have highlighted the occurrence of HAB toxins in estuarine waters and shellfish, but there is concern that current monitoring approaches under-report the threats. There is a need ...
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HABON-NE, An Adaptive Observing Network for Real-T...

New England coastal waters have long been impacted by Alexandrium, a species that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning.Other species have recently emerged in the Gulf of Maine, including Pseudo-nitzschia and Dinophysis, ...
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Harmful Algal Bloom Detection Instrument Validatio...

We are improving detection of species of the toxin-producing alga Alexandrium in the field by producing highly portable, efficient, and effective biosensors. Alexandrium can be hard to identify and sample, ...
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News

Tenth Harmful Algal Bloom Symposium Highlights NCC...

Credit. 10th US Symposium on Harmful Algae. The 10th US Symposium on Harmful Algae, held November 3-8, 2019, focused on emerging harmful algal blooms (HABs) in the US, crossing the ...
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Promising HAB Control Method Builds on NCCOS Funde...

Fluorescent images of a harmful dinoflagellate before (left) and after (middle and right) exposure to the Shewanella-derived algicide. Note the impacts on the nucleus, shown in blue. The research points ...
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Sharing Advances in Performance and Affordability ...

NCCOS funded improvements made to an in situ robotic biological sensing system, called the Environmental Sample Processor, are being shared at three major ocean science conferences in the fall of ...
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Toxic Cyanobacteria Span Coastal Watersheds from R...

Example of the California land-sea interface: Upland reservoir ➝ river ➝ estuary ➝ Pacific Ocean. Credit M. Howard, SCCWRP Research sponsored by NCCOS finds harmful cyanobacteria (aka blue-green algae) and ...
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Pacific Northwest HAB Forecast Supports Popular Re...

Razor clamming at Twin Harbors beach, WA. Credit WDFW NOAA funded partners released the latest Pacific Northwest Harmful Algal Blooms (PNW HAB) Forecast one week ahead of a three-day razor ...
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NCCOS Participates in Gulf of Maine HAB Stakeholde...

On March 26, 2019, the annual Gulf of Maine (GOM) Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Meeting took place in Portland, Maine. ESP-chris deployed off Portsmouth, NH. ESPs are being used for ...
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Exploring Airborne Health Risks from Cyanobacteria...

After a November 2018 finding that one type of airborne blue-green algae toxin was likely inhaled deep into human lungs, Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) researchers, supported by NOAA’s National ...
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NCCOS Research Supports Review of Pseudo-nitzschia...

A recent comprehensive review in the journal Harmful Algae documents over a decade of monitoring, research, and findings related to the diatom Pseudo-nitzschia and its toxin, domoic acid, off Southern ...
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Maps, Tools & Applications

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Data & Publications

A decade and a half of Pseudo-nitzschia spp. and domoic acid along the coast of southern California

Blooms of the marine diatom genus Pseudo-nitzschia that produce the neurotoxin domoic acid have been documented with regularity along the coast of southern California since 2003, with the occurrence of the toxin in shellfish tissue predating information on domoic acid ...
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An unprecedented coastwide toxic algal bloom linked to anomalous ocean conditions

A coastwide bloom of the toxigenic diatom Pseudo-nitzschia in spring 2015 resulted in the largest recorded outbreak of the neurotoxin, domoic acid, along the North American west coast. Elevated toxins were measured in numerous stranded marine mammals and resulted in ...
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Blooms of Pseudo-nitzschia and Domoic Acid in the San Pedro Channel and Los Angeles Harbor Areas of the Southern California Bight, 2003-2004

Abundances of Pseudo-nitzschia spp. and concentrations of particulate domoic acid (DA) were determined in the Southern California Bight (SCB) along the coasts of Los Angeles and Orange Counties during spring and summer of 2003 and 2004. At least 1500 km2 ...
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Blurred lines: Multiple freshwater and marine algal toxins at the land-sea interface of San Francisco Bay, California

San Francisco Bay (SFB) is a eutrophic estuary that harbors both freshwater and marine toxigenic organisms that are responsible for harmful algal blooms. While there are few commercial fishery harvests within SFB, recreational and subsistence harvesting for shellfish is common ...
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Climatic regulation of the neurotoxin domoic acid

Domoic acid is a potent neurotoxin produced by certain marine microalgae that can accumulate in the foodweb, posing a health threat to human seafood consumers and wildlife in coastal regions worldwide. Evidence of climatic regulation of domoic acid in shellfish ...
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Comparison of sandwich hybridization assay and quantitative PCR for the quantification of live and preserved cultures of Heterosigma akashiwo (Raphidophyceae)

In this study, we directly compared two molecular techniques, sandwich hybridization assay (SHA) and quantitative PCR (qPCR), for quantifying laboratory cultures of the ichthyotoxic raphidophyte Heterosigma akashiwo. To maximize comparisons, all experiments entailed raising H. akashiwo in the laboratory, generating ...
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Effects of an Acute Hypoxic Event on Microplankton Community Structure in a Coastal Harbor of Southern California

Fish mortality and hypoxic events occur in many coastal and inland systems and may result from natural or anthropogenically mediated processes. The effects of consequent changes in water biogeochemistry have been investigated for communities of benthic invertebrates and pelagic metazoans ...
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Effects of growth phase, diel cycle and macronutrient stress on the quantification of Heterosigma akashiwo using qPCR and SHA

The development of molecular probe technologies over the last several decades has enabled more rapid and specific identification and enumeration of phytoplankton species compared to traditional technologies, such as light microscopy. Direct comparisons of these methods with respect to physiological ...
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Evaluation of Rapid, Early Warning Approaches to Track Shellfish Toxins Associated with Dinophysis and Alexandrium Blooms

Marine biotoxin-contaminated seafood has caused thousands of poisonings worldwide this century. Given these threats, there is an increasing need for improved technologies that can be easily integrated into coastal monitoring programs. This study evaluates approaches for monitoring toxins associated with ...
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Gambierdiscus species exhibit different epiphytic behaviors toward a variety of macroalgal hosts

Ciguatera fish poisoning is a common form of seafood poisoning caused by toxins (ciguatoxins) that accumulate in demersal (reef) food webs. The precursors of ciguatoxins are produced by dinoflagellates of the genus Gambierdiscus, and enter the food web via herbivory ...
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General Pages

Rapid Response

Rapid ResponseNCCOS's rapid response provides state and local coastal public health and resource managers with ready access to critical data on the types of HAB species and toxins present during ...
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NOAA Internship Opportunities

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NCCOS delivers ecosystem science solutions for stewardship of the nation’s ocean and coastal resources, in direct support of NOS priorities, offices, and customers, and to sustain thriving coastal communities and economies.

National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science
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Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: (240) 533-0300 / Fax: (301) 713-4353
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