2020 | Hungary | Dóra Alexandra Gyémánt

Detecting the Toxin Production of the Microcystis species in Hungarian Lakes

Water issue adressed: Too dirty

The focus of the research was to predict the starting point of an algal bloom. Algal bloom is a big and important issue in Hungary, because it affects several hungarian lakes, including Lake Balaton, Lake Neusiedl and Lake Velence. This phenomenon causes many damages for the environment and wildlife, for instance: the lakes become disgusting and toxic. the algae use a lot of oxygen and cover the surface, that is why the light can not reach the deeper water-layers, the toxic environment and oxygen deficiency cause the extinction of the vertebrate faune,

However, if algal bloom is perceived,  the damages can be minimalized or prevented. In Hungary, the main cause of algal bloom is the Microcystis aeruginosa which produce several toxins, but the most important is microcystin. The toxin is synthetized in a non-conventional way with the help of ten enzymes. The goal of this project was to develop a biosensor which can detect the starting point of the production of microcystin producing enzymes.

Project video

This is how I came up with the idea for this project:

Algal blooming is a global issue which affects both natural and artificial lakes. In Hungary, lakes and particularly Lake Balaton are essential for tourism as they create huge incomes for the country. The lakes also mean irreplaceable value for us, because of their wildlife and the drinking water.


Ania Andersch

Programme manager ania.andersch@siwi.org +46 8 121 360 59