Chlorophyll Detection with Algae Class Differentiation

Products by bbe Moldaenke

Image of the bbe AlgaeTorch

Innovative spectral fluorometers with integrated algae class differentiation enables the simultaneous determination of green alge, cyanobactria, brown algae and cryptophytes. Available in different versions for the laboratory, in the measuring station and in the water body.

Chlorophyll-a is a key component in the transfer of solar energy into chemical energy within the photosynthesic system. Chlorophyll-a is ubiquitous in microphytoplankton and can be used as an approximate measure of the present biomass. High nutrient content in the water and certain climatic conditions promote the growth of real algae and cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). From this, algal blooms can develop which, as a consequence, result in massive ecological and economic damages. In addition to the strong oxygen depletion during cell degradation, biotoxins can be released, especially from blue-green algae and dinoflagellates. The toxins are harmful to humans and animals and must not enter drinking watersupply. Therefore, there is a strong interest in detecting and continuing to monitor algae growth at an early stage. For this purpose, bbe has developed fluorescence measuring instruments that are suitable for field use and fast laboratory analysis even in online operation inside the measuring station.

The chlorophyll-a content can be determined easily and sensitively, since the chlorophyll-a molecule has good fluorescence properties within the intact photosynthetic system. With appropriate excitation by different colored LEDs the bbe fluorometer determine both the chlorophyll-a content and the assignment to different algae classes precisely and in real-time. The presence of various pigments in addition to the chlorophyll-a results in typical spectral fingerprints. The properties of each individual algae class provides the concept for the calculation of even complex algal populations. Up to five algae classes can be evaluated in parallel.

Additional stimulation with strong light results in the saturation of the photosynthetic system with energy and is associated with maximum fluorescence emission. Consequently the maximum photosynthetic efficiency (quantum yield) of the algae can be calculated. When damaged by external factors this value also reflects the health status of the algae.

For the user of the bbe fluorescence measuring instruments, there are several advantages over traditional techniques: in addition to fast real-time analysis and high sensitivity, pigment extraction and sample preparation are eliminated. The determination directly in the water body avoids the use of any chemicals. The state of the phytoplankton can be detected on site.

bbe spectrofluorometers are used for:

The advantages of in vivo fluorescence measurement are:

  • high sensitivity
  • no sample preparation
  • rapid performance
  • low costs

The chlorophyll fluorescence of living algae cells (in vivo) can be used easily to determine:

  • chlorophyll content
  • photosynthetic activity

bbe spectrofluorometers for the measurement of micro-algae, picoplankton, nanoplankton and benthic algae:

  • use the advantages of in vivo fluorescence measurement
  • correct for CDOM
  • determine the effects of accessory algal pigments
  • calculate the chlorophyll-a of up to 5 different algae classes
  • determine the transmission
  • determine the photosynthetic activity

bbe spectrofluorometers are used for practical work in:

  • drinking water monitoring
  • monitoring of reservoirs & rivers
  • environmental/ecological assessment
  • monitoring of lakes for bathing
  • algal bloom detection
  • marine research
  • limnological research
  • education

Chlorophyll Detection

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