Title: Development of a Simple and Rapid Technique for Identification of Organisms Important to Water Quality, Focusing on the Euglenoids of the Red River of North Dakota

Focus Categories: Water Quality, Methods

Project No. ND95-05

Principal Investigator:
                    Marvin W. Fawley - Department of Botany/Biology, NDSU
                    Marvin.Fawley@ndsu.edu

Completion Report

Marvin W. Fawley and D. Knauber, 1997, Development of a Simple and Rapid Technique for Identification of Organisms Important to Water Quality, Rept. No. ND95-05, North Dakota Water Resources Research Institute, North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota, 5 pages.

Significant Findings

Molecular methods based on ribosomal RNA and rRNA genes were developed to identify organisms from phytoplankton samples. An assay system using the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) to produce specific produce that is then detected colorimetrically in microtiter plates was developed. This system is reasonably quantitative and can be used to screen large numbers of samples more rapidly than traditional counting methods. It can also be used to detect specific organisms that may be difficult to identify by microscopic methods. Work was also done on identification methods for cultured organisms. A method using PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) analysis to type individual algal isolates was developed, along with specific PCR primers that can be used to distinguish between different classes of green algae. These methods are being used in other studies to examine the diversity of very small green algae.