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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 ...
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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

Natural HAB Algicide Has Minimal Effects on Common...

NCCOS sponsored an extensive investigation on a natural bacteria-produced algicide that kills harmful algal bloom dinoflagellates. Findings showed the algicide is mostly benign to other organisms. The research strongly suggests ...
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Ecosystem Approach to Everglades Water Flow Needed...

A new study partially funded by the NCCOS Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB) Program describes the various stressors that have impacted South Florida ecosystems over the last ...
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HAB Bulletin Supports Quinault Tribal Access to Ra...

On April 12, 2021, the Quinault Indian Nation welcomed tribal razor clam diggers to Mocrocks Beach, Washington. This is the first time tribal members have been able to access this ...
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U.S. Socio-economic Effects of Harmful Algal Bloom...

NCCOS Competitive Research Program (CRP) and the U.S. National Office for Harmful Algal Blooms at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) released proceedings from a 2020 workshop on the socio-economic ...
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New Study Describes Transport of Toxic Freshwater ...

An NCCOS-sponsored study found that freshwater cyanobacteria, and their toxins, produced in a compartmentalized California estuary can accumulate and enter marine waters episodically, particularly during storms and significant tidal exchange ...
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Algal Cyst Sampling in Alaska Advances Multi-Regio...

Sediment collection in Chiniak Bay, near Kodiak Alaska. Credit: Julie Matweyou, Alaska Sea Grant NCCOS funded partners recently completed field work in Kodiak Alaska to continue advancing a coordinated, multi-region ...
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Urea-based Fertilizer Promotes Blue-Green Algal Bl...

Figure 1. The MERHAB Autonomous Research Vessel In-situ (MARVIN) deployed in Sarasota Bay in 2009. Credit FWC. A recent NCCOS-supported study observed that urea inputs into Sarasota Bay, FL influenced ...
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National Harmful Algal Bloom Observing Network Fra...

The National Harmful Algal Bloom Observing Network (NHABON) Framework offers a high-level regional analysis of existing efforts to monitor and forecast harmful algal blooms (HABs) and identifies gaps in observing ...
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Marine Heatwaves Fuel Harmful Algal Blooms Off US ...

Recreational razor clamming can bring thousands of visitors to the Washington coast. Toxins concentrated in razor clam and Dungeness crab fisheries have caused economic damage to coastal communities. Repeated marine ...
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Linking Chlorophyll Concentration and Wind Pattern...

The California Current System (CCS) is a highly productive region because of wind driven upwelling which supplies nutrients to the euphotic zone. Few studies have compared upwelling and algae blooms ...
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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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