Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


Science & Environmental Policy


ix DNA probes were evaluated to identify the temperate Asian strain of Alexandrium catenella that occurs in New Zealand. The DNA probes were developed in an attempt to increase the rate of detecting and enumerating these species collected from water samples. It was found that all of the probes cross-reacted with other species of Alexandrium. However, because the phytoplankton population in New Zealand is known and the probes do not cross react with anything that is easily mistaken for A. catenella. The cross-reaction did not represent a problem. With the successful development of these DNA probes, it was important to subsequently understand the economics and policies that govern the use of such new technologies. Therefore, a comparison of economics and policies were made between New Zealand, a country that uses DNA probes for harmful algal bloom (HAB) monitoring, and California, a state that does not use DNA probes. This study found that the economics and policies of the New Zealand HAB monitoring program are very similar to the California HAB monitoring program. It is concluded that DNA probes could be used in the California HAB program to help expedite the process of phytoplankton monitoring, but further validation studies are needed.


Capstone Project (B.S.) Earth Systems Science & Policy Institute

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