Blooms of microscopic algae in our waterways are becoming an increasingly important environmental concern. Many are sources of harmful biotoxins that can lead to death in humans, marine life and birds. Additionally, their biomass can cause damage to ecosystems such as oxygen depletion, displacement of species and habitat alteration. Globally, the number and frequency of harmful algal blooms has increased over the last few decades, and monitoring and detection strategies have become essential for managing these events. This review discusses developments in the use of oligonucleotide-based 'molecular probes' for the selective monitoring of algal cell numbers. Specifically, hybridisation techniques will be a focus.
- Harmful algal bloom
- Nucleic acids