Algal bloom is a rapid increase or accumulation in the population of algae in freshwater or marine water systems, and is recognized by the discoloration in the water from their pigments.
A Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) is an algal bloom that reasons terrible affects to other organisms through production of natural toxins, mechanical damage to different organisms, or by means of other manner.
In humans, the toxin can cause rashes, skin lesions, headaches and stomach pain.
Despite decades of research, the trigger that causes algal blooms to begin poisoning their environment has long confounded scientists.
Now, researchers have found the genetic underpinning of domoic acid, a harmful neurotoxin. In a new, researchers describe three genes responsible for producing domoic acid in the phytoplankton Pseudo-nitzschia.
Monitoring how the clusters of genes behave could one day yield information on which environmental or biological triggers are responsible for activating them. That information could help fisheries and public health officials predict when harmful algal blooms will occur, allowing them to effectively prepare.
The “very small” cluster of genes responsible for the production of the toxin is a relatively rare phenomena compared to other similar organisms, indicating that they may serve some important biological function.
Researchers say “It’s not there to make us sick. There are different theories for why it’s there, including serving as a feeding deterrent,”
They speculate the toxin may deter organisms that would feed upon the algae. Or it may be that the toxin allows algae to chemically bond to nutrients, such as iron, present in the water.
The discovery of these genes will allow us to explore many theories