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Applications of immuno-magnetic bead and immunofluorescent flow cytometric techniques for the quantitative detection of HAB microalgae

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Abstract

Over the last several decades, harmful algal blooms (HABs) have become a serious environmental problem in many parts of the world. A rapid and accurate detection process for HAB algae has yet to be developed. Heterosigma akashiwo is one of the most important HABs species in China. The objective of this study was to develop an immunologic technique that can rapidly and sensitively count H. akashiwo cells. Five HABs species (Alexandrium catenella, Thalassiosira sp., Cryptomonas sp., Alexandrium tamarense and Symbiodinium sp.), were used in this study to evaluate the analysis process we developed. A polyclonal antibody with high titers against H. akashiwo was obtained by injecting H. akashiwo cells into rabbits. Immuno-magnetic beads (IMB) were produced via conjugated polyclonal antibodies with magnetic beads and applied to isolate and count H. akashiwo cells from the culture. Results show that 66.7%–91.6% of the cells were captured from unialgal culture by IMBs, and only 5.3%–12.5% of the four other HAB microalgae species were captured, indicating that the constructed IMBs combined specifically with the H. akashiwo cells. At the same time, flow cytometry (FCM) sorting was exploited to screen H. akashiwo cells after labeling with FITC conjugated polyclonal antibodies. Using the FCM technique, 91.7% of the targeted cells were sorted out from mixed microalgae samples in just a few minutes. These results indicate that both antibody-involved IMB and antibody-based FCM techniques are highly effective at detecting and quantifying HAB species. These techniques, especially immuno-magnetic separation, have low associated cost, and are fast and simple processes compared with other techniques currently in use.

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Correspondence to Zhenghong Sui  (隋正红).

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Supported by Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education of China (No. SRFDP 20100132110007), and Shandong Provincial Natural Science Foundation, China (No. ZR2011DZ002)

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Huang, J., Wen, R., Bao, Z. et al. Applications of immuno-magnetic bead and immunofluorescent flow cytometric techniques for the quantitative detection of HAB microalgae. Chin. J. Ocean. Limnol. 30, 433–439 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00343-012-1208-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00343-012-1208-6

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