Science News

Scientists uncover genetic basis for toxic algal blooms

Blooms of harmful algae can cause illness and death in humans and animals.


Despite decades of research, the trigger that causes algal blooms to begin poisoning their environment has long confounded scientists. Now, researchers from Scripps and UC San Diego have found the genetic underpinning of domoic acid, a harmful neurotoxin. In a new study published in Science, researchers describe three genes responsible for producing domoic acid in the phytoplankton Pseudo-nitzschia.