2013 Participants
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NAME: Brianna Mayfield

PROJECT TITLE: Cell Culture Bioassay Development for Prymnesium parvum Toxins

Golden algae, Prymnesium parvum, has made a significant and damaging effect on a rapidly increasing amount of water bodies. Toxins secreted from the alga are able to make fish gills impermeable to oxygen and other vital materials and ultimately asphyxiate fish. This type of algae is found in numerous bodies of water and can be harmful to fish or lay dormant until an environmental influence initiates toxin production. P. parvum will be examined on two cell lines using controlled toxins to understand toxicity factors under varying conditions. Alga will be maintained in a secure room with a designated containment protocol being followed. A cell culture assay will then be produced in the event that a harmful algal bloom surfaces in outlying areas. Dunkard Creek water will be obtained to develop a method to properly filter sterilize the water to support cell culture. Additionally, the golden algae samples will be grown under a developed protocol and a larval fish assay will be administered to determine toxicity. Such an experiment will substantially increase information on golden algae toxicity and the factors that are associated with harmful algal blooms. If a bloom arises, there will already be a bioassay in place because of this prior experimentation. This will potentially eliminate the threat of harmful blooms that cannot be contained or treated.

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