Focus on toxic microalgae and cyanobacteria

We at Microbia Environnement have developed a polyvalent platform consisting of a large panel of genetic biosensors, making possible to target any aquatic microbial types. To respond to the most risky situations, we focused on the deployment of sensors usable in routine to detect:

  • Microalgae in sea water,
  • Cyanobacteria in freshwater,

Both causing so-called Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) and producing toxins.

Why cyanobacteria and microalgae can be toxic?

Besides the technology, we give support to define a site-specific strategy, based on:

  • Observations and needs reported by the waterbody manager.
  • A characterization of the microbial biodiversity – if necessary, e.g. if pathogens or toxic species have not yet been identified (use of metabarcoding and microarrays). 
  • An optimized/standardized methodology for water sampling and choice of most relevant biosensors.

points microbia environnement  What is delivered to the end user ?

The output signal given by our biosensors is a qualitative and quantitative estimation of living and active micro-organisms in situ that is translated into a potential toxicity level.

With appropriate repetition (weekly to bi-weekly), it provides a real “weather forecast” of the contamination risk in the site of interest. The end user has in hand easily-interpretable data to anticipate actions and to secure his activity in real-time.


Progressively reduce the use of conventional methods (microscopy and toxin concentration analyses) which are costly, time-consuming and permit only to engage a posteriori actions.

This directly answers the crucial needs from the industry (tourism, fishing, aquaculture), water management authorities (public or private accredited laboratories), or urban/drinking water suppliers – among others, for robust monitoring means and performant warning systems.

points microbia environnement  Other applications

Our technology is as well adaptable with no limitation to any microbial community of interest (microalgae, cyanobacteria, bacteria or viruses), being toxic, non-toxic, pathogens, harmful… whatever it serves fundamental research or very specific needs.

We are happy to discuss new projects and develop customized solutions, talk to us !

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