Oligonucleotide probe technology as applied to the study of harmful algal blooms

John V. Tyrrell, Patricia R. Bergquist*, David J. Saul, Lincoln MacKenzie, Peter L. Bergquist

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Harmful algal bloom (HAB) research and monitoring has traditionally been based on ecological and microbiological measurements which are laborious, time-consuming, and reliant on experienced operators. Recent developments in oligonucleotide probe technology and immunofluorescence research have revealed several potential applications and techniques that may be transposable to laboratory and field-based monitoring and research. Field trials are currently underway for fluorescent in situ hybridisation and sandwich hybridisation assays. The former is particularly suited for laboratory-based research on harmful algal bloom (HAB) population dynamics and structure, whereas the sandwich hybridisation assays based on a portable robotics workstation, offers the potential of quick and reliable laboratory and possibly field-based screening for HAB species. Initial development is underway for molecular beacons and the QB replicase detection system, both offer the potential of simple and cost effective strategies for field-based monitoring by people with minimal knowledge of molecular biology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-560
Number of pages10
JournalNew Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1997


  • Armful algal blooms
  • Fluorescent in situ hybridisation
  • Molecular beacons
  • Oligonucleotide probes
  • QB replicase detection
  • Sandwich hybridisation assays


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