Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > A nanoscopic look at the estuary’s green algae

Abstract:
The pico is a very small unit, even smaller than the nano as it is the equivalent of 10-12. The biologist Aitor Alonso has devoted himself to studying green algae of this imperceptible size existing in the Bilbao estuary, paying particular attention to the area beyond the Nervión estuary. This has enabled him to identify six genera and eleven nano- and picoplanktonic species that until now had not been catalogued in these waters. He has also put forward some measures designed to optimize the methodology to be applied to these analyses. His thesis, defended at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), is entitled Algas verdes en el picoplancton y nanoplancton del estuario del río Nervión (Golfo de Vizcaya) (Green algae in the picoplankton and nanoplankton in the estuary of the river Nervión (Bay of Biscay).

A nanoscopic look at the estuary’s green algae

Bilbao, Spain | Posted on June 27th, 2012

All the algae contain chlorophyll A, but it is chlorophyll B that characterises green algae and gives them their pigment. "They have been used for producing biofuels, for treating sewage, etc. Research has also been done on them in the quest for products for the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries," says Alonso. But the practical applications of the green algae were not the starting point of this research, rather their extremely high relative presence among the smallest organisms in the Nervión estuary. "There is an abundance of them among the smallest algae in the plankton, in other words, picoplankton. Most of what can be found of that size, apart from bacteria, are green algae." So his main aim was to find out a little more about this specific diversity. Data like, for example, that the most abundant green algae belong to the chlorophyta division, which dominate in the outer part of this estuary during the summer.

Species and the TSA-FISH technique

The samples collected by Alonso between 2007 and 2010 have been used to isolate and analyse 26 algae strains from the estuary of the Nervión and other nearby ones. "We knew the green algae were a significant group, but not which species it actually consisted of," he explains. On the bases of 26 strains, he has been able to identity in his research six genera and eleven species: Eutreptiella (E. eupharyngeae and E. gymnastica), Mamiella (M. gilva), Nephroselmis (N. pyriformis), Pyramimonas (P. orientalis, P. moestrupii, P. grossii, P. robusta and P. propulsa), Oltmannsiellopsis (O. unicellularis and O. viridis) and cf. Chlamydomonas.

Alonso's main aim was to put a name to the species comprising the community of green algae in the estuary of Bilbao, but the path covered to achieve this has also been a significant contribution of this thesis. Studying organisms of such a tiny fraction like the picoplankton is complicated, and in this case the combination of three techniques was chosen: epifluorescence (an advanced alternative to the conventional optical microscope), flow cytometry (used to classify and count the cells that are found in fluids), and the TSA-FISH technique (which expands —more than other techniques— the fluorescent signals that work as algal markers, thus increasing sensitivity and facilitating analysis). The researcher has put forward a number of proposals to improve the performance of these techniques and to make a correct interpretation of the results obtained through them.

Alonso has concentrated, above all, on the problems of and possible solutions to the application of Tyramide Signal Amplification (TSA)-FISH. He concludes that in order to make the fitoplankton count as universal as possible, a protocol based on this technique needs to meet certain premises. For example, as the TSA-FISH has difficulties when it comes to doing the sample count, he recommends using flow cytometry for this task. The research also revealed shortcomings in the permeability of certain cultures analysed; that could lead to the importance of one or more microalgae groups, which could be in fact significant in the community, being overlooked. In order to avoid this problem, the proposal is to use an extra permeation through enzymatic treatment. With these measures TSA-FISH would allow a simple, quantitative, precise and reliable measurement to be made in addition to the monitoring of the phytoplanktonic populations.

About the author

Aitor Alonso-González (Basauri, 1983) has a PhD in Biology and a Master's in Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. He wrote up his thesis under the supervision of Emma Orive-Aguirre and Sergio Seoane-Parra, lecturers in the Department of Plant Biology and Ecology of the Faculty of Science and Technology of the UPV/EHU. He did his thesis at the university's Phytoplankton Laboratory.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Komunikazio Bulegoa
UPV/EHU
Contact details:

(+34) 946012065

Copyright © Elhuyar Fundazioa

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Ag/ZnO-Nanorods Schottky diodes based UV-PDs are fabricated and tested May 26th, 2017

New metamaterial-enhanced MRI technique tested on humans May 26th, 2017

Controlling 3-D behavior of biological cells using laser holographic techniques May 26th, 2017

Unveiling the quantum necklace: Researchers simulate quantum necklace-like structures in superfluids May 26th, 2017

Nanomechanics, Inc. to Exhibit at the SEM Conference: Nanoindentation experts will attend and exhibit their instruments at the Conference and Exposition on Experimental and Applied Mechanics in Indianapolis May 25th, 2017

Imaging

New metamaterial-enhanced MRI technique tested on humans May 26th, 2017

Discoveries

Ag/ZnO-Nanorods Schottky diodes based UV-PDs are fabricated and tested May 26th, 2017

New metamaterial-enhanced MRI technique tested on humans May 26th, 2017

Controlling 3-D behavior of biological cells using laser holographic techniques May 26th, 2017

Unveiling the quantum necklace: Researchers simulate quantum necklace-like structures in superfluids May 26th, 2017

Announcements

Ag/ZnO-Nanorods Schottky diodes based UV-PDs are fabricated and tested May 26th, 2017

New metamaterial-enhanced MRI technique tested on humans May 26th, 2017

Controlling 3-D behavior of biological cells using laser holographic techniques May 26th, 2017

Unveiling the quantum necklace: Researchers simulate quantum necklace-like structures in superfluids May 26th, 2017

Tools

New metamaterial-enhanced MRI technique tested on humans May 26th, 2017

Nanometrics Announces Retirement Plans of CEO Timothy Stultz: Dr. Stultz to Continue as Director May 25th, 2017

Nanomechanics, Inc. to Exhibit at the SEM Conference: Nanoindentation experts will attend and exhibit their instruments at the Conference and Exposition on Experimental and Applied Mechanics in Indianapolis May 25th, 2017

Plasmon-powered upconversion nanocrystals for enhanced bioimaging and polarized emission: Plasmonic gold nanorods brighten lanthanide-doped upconversion superdots for improved multiphoton bioimaging contrast and enable polarization-selective nonlinear emissions for novel nanoscal May 19th, 2017

Environment

Can crab shells provide a 'green' solution to malaria? Study shows how a mixture of chitin and silver nanoparticles inhibits growth of mosquito larvae May 12th, 2017

NanoMONITOR shares its latest developments concerning the NanoMONITOR Software and the Monitoring stations April 21st, 2017

Wood filter removes toxic dye from water April 21st, 2017

Making Batteries From Waste Glass Bottles: UCR researchers are turning glass bottles into high performance lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and personal electronics April 19th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project