A PCR IMMUNOASSAY METHOD FOR THE DETECTION OF ALEXANDRIUM (DINOPHYCEAE) SPECIES

Authors


Author for correspondence: e-mail a.penna@uniurb.it

Abstract

PCR primers targeting the internal transcribed spacer (ITS)-5.8S rDNA regions specific for the genus Alexandrium were used to develop an ELISA assay method to detect and enumerate this genus in cultured isolates. The solid-phase ELISA involves the application of a biotinylated labeled primer to target the specific ITS-5.8S rDNA region; the PCR-amplified products, generated in the presence of digoxigenin-11-deoxiuracil triphosphate nucleotide, are captured on the streptavidin-coated microplate. The captured molecules were hybridized to an anti-digoxigenin antibody conjugated with alkaline phosphatase. The presence and number of the Alexandrium cells in the samples resulted in a proportional appearance of color generated by the phosphatase activity in the presence of a chromogenic substrate and measured in a plate reader. This PCR and immunoassay solid-phase assay proved to be a useful technique to detect the presence of Alexandrium sp. in cultured isolates and seawater samples.

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