Electron microscopy is used for the identification and description of micro organisms. Some organisms are easily prepared with state of the art techniques while others cannot be preserved with prevailing techniques. This is particularly the case for some HAB species.
We want to optimize techniques for the treatment and observation of selected HAB species using electron microscopy. The idea is to use sensitive species that distort or become difficult to observe in EM such as Raphidophytes to develop new a nd effective techniques to observe their fine structure and define details that will help in their positive identification. With the combination of clonal cultures, ability to manipulate environmental variables, enhanced EM techniques and molecular expert ise we could determine those fine structural details that are conservative and most useful in their positive identification. The utility of this collaboration would be to develop new ways to handle HABs for EM observations, determine what EM characters ar e stable or conservative enough to be of value, see how these characters are modified by environmental factors influencing them, educate and train graduate students in the techniques needed for EM observations of phytoplankton, particularly HABs, develop further long term collaboration among researchers in the U.S. and Norway dealing with difficult and important HAB problems and with time use FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization) or ?real time? PCR (polymerase chain reaction) probes for the detection in natural samples of species studied using EM techniques. The final project proposal that will be submitted to the HAVKYST program will include a PhD student that will be trained in biodiversity and ecology of marine micro organisms in general and EM te chniques in particular at the Marine Institute UNC at Wilmington and NIVA, Oslo.