Professor Brett Neilan's Laboratory Home page

PSP and Saxitoxin research in Norway


click on respective product to view assay protocol

Phytoxigene™ CyanoDTec

Phytoxigene™ DinoDTec: 


qPCR: A Screening Tool For Harmful Algal Blooms; Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, U.S. EPA's 2016 Recreational Water's Conference, April 12-15 New Orleans

The Development and Validation of a Multiplex qPCR Assay for the Detection of Toxin-Producing Cyanobacteria; 7th Symposium on Harmful Algae in the US, October 27-30 Sarasota 2013


1.     Hudnell, HK, et al. (2008) An overview of the interagency, International Symposium on Cyanobacterial Harmful AlgalBlooms (ISOC-HAB): advancing the scientific understanding of freshwater harmful algal blooms. Adv Exp  Med Biol 619:1-16.

2.     Tillett, D, et al. (2000) Structural organization of microcystin biosynthesis in Microcystis aeruginosa PCC7806: an integrated peptide-polyketide synthetase system. Chem Biol 7:753-64.

3.     Moffitt, MC & Neilan, BA (2004) Characterization of the nodularin synthetase gene cluster and proposed theory of the evolution of cyanobacterial hepatotoxins. Appl Environ Microbiol 70:6353-62.; Biochem Pharmacol 49:219-25.

4.     Mihali, TK, et al. (2008) Characterization of the gene cluster responsible for cylindrospermopsin biosynthesis. Appl Environ Microbiol 74:716-22.

5.     Mihali, TK, et al. (2011) A putative gene cluster from a Lyngbya wollei bloom that encodes paralytic shellfish toxin biosynthesis. PLoS ONE 6:e14657.

6.     Mihali, TK, et al. (2009) Characterisation of the paralytic shellfish toxin biosynthesis gene clusters in Anabaena circinalis AWQC131C and Aphanizomenon sp. NH-5. BMC Biochem 10:8.

7.     Burns BP, Saker ML, Moffitt MC, Neilan BA (2004) Molecular detection of the genes responsible forcyanobacterial toxin production in the genera Microcystis, Nodularia and Cylindrospermopsis. Methods in Molecular Biology 268, 213-22.

8.     Moffitt MC, Neilan BA (2004) Characterization of the nodularin synthetase gene cluster and the evolution of cyanobacterial hepatotoxins, Applied and Environmental Microbiology 70, 6353-62.

9.     Saker ML, Jungblut AD, Neilan BA, Rawn DF, Vasconcelos VM (2005) Detection of microcystin synthetase genes in health food supplements containing the freshwater cyanobacterium Aphanizomenon flos-aquae.Toxicon 46, 555-62.

10.   Mihali TK, Muenchoff J, Kellmann R, Neilan BA (2008) The biosynthetic pathway for cylindrospermopsin.Applied and Environmental Microbiology 74, 716-22.

11.   Neilan BA, Pearson LA, Moffitt MC, Mihali KT, Kaebernick M, Kellmann R, Pomati F (2008). The genetics and genomics of cyanobacterial toxicity. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 619, 417-52.

12.   Pearson LA, Neilan BA. (2008) The molecular genetics of cyanobacterial toxicity as a basis for monitoring water quality and public health risk. Current Opinions in Biotechnology 19(3), 281-8.

13.   Pearson LA, Moffitt MC, Ginn H, Neilan BA (2008) The molecular genetics and regulation of cyanobacterial peptide hepatotoxin biosynthesis. Critical Reviews in Toxicology 38, 847-56.

14.   Mihali TK, Kellmann R, Neilan BA (2009) Characterisation of the paralytic shellfish toxin biosynthesis gene clusters in Anabaena circinalis AWQC131C and Aphanizomenon sp. NH-5. BMC Biochemistry 30,

15.   Al Tebrineh J, Mihali TK, Pomati F, Neilan BA (2010) Quantitative PCR detection of saxitoxin-producing Anabaena circinalis in environmental water samples. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 76, 7836-42.

16.   Al Tebrineh J, Gehringer MM, Neilan BA (2011) A new quantitative PCR assay for the detection of hepatotoxigenic cyanobacteria. Toxicon 57, 546-54.

17.   Stüken A, Orr RJ, Kellmann R, Murray SA, Neilan BA, Jakobsen KS (2011) Discovery of nuclear-encoded genes for the neurotoxin saxitoxin in dinoflagellates. PLoS One 6(5), e20096.

18.   Murray SA, Wiese M, Stuken A, Hallegraf G, Neilan BA (2011) A quantitative molecular assay based on the gene sxtA to identify saxitoxin-producing harmful algal blooms in marine waters. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 77, 7050-7.

19.   Al-Tebrineh J, Pearson LA, Yasar SA, Neilan BA (2012) A multiplex qPCR targeting hepato- and neurotoxigenic cyanobacteria of global significance. Harmful Algae 15, 19-25.

20.   Al-Tebrineh J, Merrick C, Ryan D, Humpage A, Bowling L, Neilan BA (2012) Community composition, toxigenicity, and environmental conditions during a cyanobacterial bloom occurring along 1,100 kilometres of the Murray River. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 78, 263-272.

21.   Murray SA, Wiese M, Neilan BA, Orr RJ, de Salas M, Brett S, Hallegraeff G (2012) A reinvestigation of saxitoxin production and sxtA in the ‘non-toxic’ Alexandrium tamarense Group V clade. Harmful Algae 18,

22.   Dittmann E, Fewer DP, Neilan BA (2013) Cyanobacterial toxins: biosynthetic routes and evolutionary roots. FEMS Microbiology Reviews 37, 23-43.

23.  Crawford, A., Holliday, J., Merrick, C., Brayan, J., van Asten, M., and Bowling, L. (2017) Use of three monitoring approaches to manage a major Chrysosporum ovalisporum bloom in the Murray River, 2016. Environ. Monit. Assess. 189:202. doi: 10.1007/s10661-017-5916-4

24.  Woodhouse JN, Ziegler J, Grossart H-P, Neilan BA (2018)  Cyanobacterial Community Composition and Bacteria-Bacteria Interactions Promote the Stable Occurance of Particle-Associated Bacteria . Front. Microbiol. 9:777. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.00777

25. Kramer BJ, Davis TW, Meyer KA, Rosen BH, Goleski JA, Dick GJ, Oh G, Gobler CJ, 2018. Nitrogen limitation, toxin synthesis potential, and toxicity of cyanobacterial populations in Lake Okeechobee and the St. Lucie River Estuary, Florida, during the 2016 state of emergency event.