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Detection of Phycocyanin Concentration

Blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, are the only phytoplankton that contains phycocyanin and phycoerythrin, making these pigments a good indicator of cyanobacterial abundance in a body of water. While chlorophyll measurements can be used to estimate overall phytoplankton populations, the auxiliary pigments phycocyanin and phycoerythrin can be measured to specifically estimate cyanobacterial concentrations. Like the chlorophyll sensor, the cyanobacteria sensor relies on fluorescence to detect pigment concentration. Phycoerythrin sensors use wavelengths around 540 nm, while phycocyanin sensors emit at 600 nm. Due to differences in secondary pigment concentrations between species, it is recommended to use phycocyanin sensors for freshwater applications and phycoerythrin sensors for saltwater applications. Assessing the presence or dominance of cyanobacteria using phycocyanin detection is well known: in situ fluorescence field applications, sensitive fluorescence techniques, remote sensing, and in vitro extraction methods have all been used for cyanobacterial quantification.

Our Services

We use trained marine biologists who provide an efficient, fast, inexpensive, and reproducible analytical protocol for the determination of phycocyanin to estimate the relative biomass of cyanobacteria according to customer-specific requirements. Our services are listed as follows, but are not limited to:

  • Phycocyanin detection
  • Phycoerythrin detection
  • Phycocyanin extract
  • Phycocyanin purification
  • Phycocyanin characterization
  • Prediction of cyanobacterial abundance in waters

Extraction Methods for Phycocyanin Detection

  • Freeze-thaw Method
    Biomass is harvested by filtration on filters and pigments are extracted by five freeze-thaw cycles, in which samples are frozen at -20°C and then thawed in a water bath at 9 ± 1°C.
  • Homogenization with Mortar and Pestle
    Test samples are centrifuged at 4000 rpm for 10 minutes and then homogenized in an ice-cold mortar. After homogenization, the extract was centrifuged and the phycocyanin concentration of the supernatant was measured. This extraction cycle is repeated until no further phycocyanin is detected.
  • Homogenization with an Ultrasonic Homogenizer
    Samples are concentrated by filtration on filters and subjected to multiple repetitions of sonication for varying lengths of time to rupture the cell walls.
  • Homogenization with a Polytron Homogenizer
    The samples are homogenized using a Polytron homogenizer, followed by centrifugation, and the homogenized biomass is collected for different lengths of time.

Our Phycocyanin Concentration Detection Workflow

  • Project Management
    Our project managers act as primary contacts to ensure expectations are met, including timelines and costs.
  • Method Development
    Our method development team can help you identify the appropriate method for measuring phycocyanin concentration to predict algal bloom. We will provide detailed workflows for algae cultivation, phycocyanin extraction, purification, and determination.
  • Method Validation
    Our analytical and method development teams work closely together to ensure a smooth transition from method development to method validation.

CD BioSciences is a professional service provider for the marine biology industry. Our phycocyanin detection services can ensure that the most suitable methods and techniques are selected for your project. We provide our customers with the most precise ingredient data and highly informed process expertise. Our team of biomass experts plays a key role in the formulation, optimization and commercial evaluation of biomass value-added processes in industry and academia. If necessary, please feel free to contact us.

Please kindly note that our services can only be used to support research purposes (Not for clinical use).

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