Detection of genes coding Cylindrospermopsin and Saxitoxin by using polymerase chain reaction

Detection of genes coding Cylindrospermopsin and Saxitoxin by using polymerase chain reaction

Prepared by:

Dr. Ibrahim Jabir Abd/Department of biology, College of science, University of Baghdad


The aim of this study was to provide a rapid and inexpensive tool by using polymerase chain reaction PCR for the early warning of cylindrosprmopsin and saxitoxin biosynthesis genes in freshwater and algal bloom. The quality of drinking water may be significantly reduced by the presence of blue greens which capable of producing toxins. Samples: freshwater sample(from river intake) and algal bloom sample (collected from filter & sedimentation tanks) were collected during August 2014 from three drinking water treatment stations in Baghdad City that are representing three sites, site 1: Sharak Dijla (S. Dijla) station, site 2: Al-Wathba station and site  3: Al- Rasheed station. Microscopic identification of the studied samples demonstrated that the prevalent cyanobacteria in samples of freshwater and blooms were Lyngbya, Oscillatoria, Aphanizomenon, Chroococcus, Microcystis, Cylindrospermopsis and Anabaena. The molecular analysis revealed that aoaC gene was not detect in the freshwater samples at the three studied sites while sxtA was detected at one only. Also, the aaaC and sxtA genes were detected in the bloom at the three studied sites. In conclusion, The PCR technique applied in this paper was found to be useful and rapid test, particularly when the number of the target organism is very low in the freshwater sample. This technique could be useful to companies responsible for the surveillance and predict of cyanotoxins in freshwater. Consequently, without need to isolate blue green algae, which need time and effort, in addition to the fact that this technique could replace biochemistry techniques  , such as HPLC and ELISA, and this technique  allows these companies to implement appropriate measures for preventing the growth of these organisms, such as artificial desertification or the application of water – cleansing procedures.

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