Watershed Symposium 2018 has ended
Welcome to the official website of the 12th Annual Salt Lake County Watershed Symposium, November 14-15, 2018!  Free and open to all, the Symposium encourages a comprehensive review of the current state of our watershed while creating learning and networking opportunities for a broad array of stakeholders. Sessions cover a broad range of topics on water quality and watershed issues with local, regional, and national relevance. Hosted annually by Salt Lake County Watershed Planning & Restoration.

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Wednesday, November 14 • 2:20pm - 2:50pm
What Happens to Cyanotoxins Once They Are Out?

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What Happens to Cyanotoxins Once They Are Out?

Cyanotoxins can affect ecosystem adversely once the blooms have formed. The bacterial population, especially participating in nitrogen and carbon cycling can be affected negatively. We report very interesting findings with nitrogen cycling bacteria as model organisms. This research is novel and has very high intellectual merit.

Full Abstract
During the last few decades, algal blooms have become a prevalent problem in many lake ecosystems. Cyanotoxins, a cyanobacterial metabolite, are responsible for harmfully impacting both the environment and human health. To measure cyanotoxin influence within nitrifying microbial communities, ammonia oxidizing bacteria, were examined after their exposure to the cyanotoxin microcystin-LR (MC-LR). The various microcystin toxins are commonly occurring in freshwater environments relative to other cyanotoxin strains. Likewise, the range of MC-LR concentrations used in the experiments, 0.25 µg/l to 10 µg/L, reflect surface water microcystin concentrations in natural water sources. Various forms of nitrification and oxygen uptake experiments were completed. NH4-N and NO2-N concentrations were promptly measured after the nitrification kinetics experiments to determine cyanotoxin impact on nitrogen transformations. The nitrification kinetics experiment demonstrated MC-LR’s ability to prevent NH4-N oxidation to NO2-N for the three hour experimental time span. Additionally, the MC-LR infused samples temporarily experienced a rise in NH4-N concentration in the samples containing the highest concentration of MC-LR, 10 µg/L. The inhibition kinetics experiment established MC-LR inhibits oxygen depletion for nitrifying bacteria biomass in a feed solution when the MC-LR concentration exceeds 1 µg/L. Finally, a gene expression analysis was conducted to address MC-LR influence on the genomic level. The cyanotoxins’ amoA gene was evaluated to determine its expression rate while the 16s rRNA gene was utilized as the endogenous control. As the samples and blanks both experienced the gene expression procedure the MC-LR inhibited the amoA gene expression comparable to the blanks.


Marielle Hollstein

Senior Undergraduate Student, University of Utah
Marielle is Senior Undergraduate Honors student. This research forms the basis of her honors research project.

Hanyan Li

Graduate student and research assistant, University of Utah
Currently Ph.D student at the University of Utah and focuses on study of Harmful algal blooms and microbial communities.

Wednesday November 14, 2018 2:20pm - 2:50pm MST
Lower Level - Ballroom C Utah Cultural Celebration Center, 1355 W 3100 S, West Valley City, UT 84119