Capillary electrophoresis finger print technique (CE-SSCP): an alternative tool for the monitoring activities of HAB species in Baja California Sur Costal

Angélica Herrera-Sepúlveda, Norma Y Hernandez-Saavedra, Linda K Medlin, Nyree West
Environmental Science and Pollution Research International 2013, 20 (10): 6863-71
In Mexican waters, there is no a formal and well-established monitoring program of harmful algal blooms (HAB) events. Until now, most of the work has been focused on the characterization of organisms present in certain communities. Therefore, the development of new techniques for the rapid detection of HAB species is necessary. Capillary electrophoresis finger print technique (CE-SSCP) is a fingerprinting technique based on the identification of different conformers dependent of its base composition. This technique, coupled with capillary electrophoresis, has been used to compare and identify different conformers. The aim of this study was to determine if CE-SSCP analysis of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene fragments could be used for a rapid identification of toxic and harmful HAB species to improve monitoring activities along the coasts of Baja California Sur, Mexico.Three different highly variable regions of the 18S and 28S rRNA genes were chosen and their suitability for the discrimination of different dinoflagellate species was assessed by CE-SSCP.The CE-SSCP results obtained for the LSU D7 fragment has demonstrated that this technique with this gene region could be useful for the identification of the ten dinoflagellates species of different genera.We have shown that this method can be used to discriminate species and the next step will be to apply it to natural samples to achieve our goal of molecular monitoring for toxic algae in Mexican waters. This strategy will offer an option to improve an early warning system of HAB events for coastal BCS, allowing the possible implementation of mitigation strategies. A monitoring program of HAB species using molecular methods will permit the analysis of several samples in a short period of time, without the pressure of counting with a taxonomic expert in phytoplankton taxonomy.

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