Application Note: A Novel, Transportable Flow Cytometer Facilitates Algal Quantification in Cultures and Environmental Samples
2 November 2012

Flow cytometers are useful tools for monitoring phytoplankton populations both in cultures and environmental samples, since multiparametric measurements of particle size and autofluorescence can be collected quickly (10,000 events per second) on large samples of up to several mL. In this application note the BD Accuri™ C6 Flow Cytometer, a pre-aligned, pre-optimized system with fixed-voltage detectors, was used in both a lab setting and onboard a small boat for the real-time monitoring of Microcytis blooms in Michigan Lakes. The fluorescence “signatures” (median channel fluorescence value ratios determined from the emissions at each of the wavelengths listed) of 5 different Microcystis cultures and 19 other phytoplankton species (diatoms, cyanobacteria, and green algae) were readily determined.