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​​​Summary

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Dime-sized field specimens of black algae collected from "Gainesville A" public swimming pool were identified as thick matted layers comprised of not one, but several genera of cyanobacteria (blue/green algae) in an intertwined colony. Oscillatoria sp., Microcoleous, and Nostoc sp. were the most prevalent. Samples collected from a second recreational water venue (Atlantic Beach) did not contain Nostoc sp., Microcoleus, and Oscillatoria as we had identified in our Gainesville A colonies. Our new specimens contained the filamentous cyanobacteria Leptolyngbya sp. This is a noteworthy discovery evidencing that the constituents of swimming pool “black algae” can differ greatly with variables such as distance and in as little as 100 miles. We have also positively identified several species of true algae in this sample that have taken harbor in the cyanobacteria’s exopolysaccharidic secretions. This finding allows us to refer to “black algae” as a Collective Cyanobacteria Community; a biofilm with cyanobacteria as the dominant constituent. One can theorize the eukaryotic inhabitants of the biomass to vary by geographic location as we found of the photosynthetic prokaryotes. Samples from a third recreational water venue were collected (Gainesville B) within one mile of the initial location (Gainesville A). As we had seen in our "Atlantic Beach" specimens, Leptolyngbya sp. dominated the biomass.

Also found in our "Gainesville B" sample were the cyanobacteria Oscillatoria sp. and Synechococcus sp. The chlorine level in this sample was neutralized with ascorbic acid. The Assay value in our test results show that a positive test was achieved indicating that a trace level of microcystin was detected in our specimens upon lysis. However, at 0.08 ng/mL; the level detected by the ELISA in our samples is much lower than the benchmark of 0.15 ppb and much lower than the EPA Drinking Water Health Advisory (HA) maximum recommended level of 1.6 micrograms per liter. Wet mounts were prepared and scanned at 100X for the presence of potentially toxigenic (PTOX) cyanobacteria using a Nikon Eclipse Ti-S Inverted Microscope equipped with phase-contrast optics and epifluorescence. Higher magnification was used as necessary for identification and micrographs. Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay


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