Title

The Fluorescence Of Algae

Format

SOECS Senior Project Demonstration

Abstract/Artist Statement

A healthy river contains large amounts of dissolved oxygen created from algae; therefore, algae are very important for water quality. One parameter used in algal characterization is to measure the concentration of the photosynthetic pigment, chlorophyll a, and its degraded product pheophytin a. The measurement of these two pigments is a convenient and highly practiced way to represent the physiological health and biochemical oxygen demand. Researchers currently use a fluorometer with an acidification process to degrade chlorophyll a to pheophytin a to isolate the fluorescent response of the two pigments. The ratio of fluorescence response of the sample before and after acidification is used to estimate the concentration of chlorophyll a in the sample. For accurate results, collected samples need to be measured as soon as possible or properly preserved. The most accurate representation of chlorophyll a concentrations in a river occurs when measuring is done in the field. Currently an in situ method and/or device that continuously measures both chlorophyll a and pheophytin a does not exist. The purpose of the project is to develop an automatic and continuous measurement of both chlorophyll a and pheophytin a concentrations with a fluorometer. The acidification process is used to measure both fluorescent excitation of chlorophyll a and pheophytin a concentrations. This device will benefit researchers by providing a faster and more accurate way to gather algal population data, specifically in the San Joaquin River.

Location

School of Engineering and Computer Sciences

Start Date

6-5-2006 2:00 PM

End Date

6-5-2006 3:30 PM

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May 6th, 2:00 PM May 6th, 3:30 PM

The Fluorescence Of Algae

School of Engineering and Computer Sciences

A healthy river contains large amounts of dissolved oxygen created from algae; therefore, algae are very important for water quality. One parameter used in algal characterization is to measure the concentration of the photosynthetic pigment, chlorophyll a, and its degraded product pheophytin a. The measurement of these two pigments is a convenient and highly practiced way to represent the physiological health and biochemical oxygen demand. Researchers currently use a fluorometer with an acidification process to degrade chlorophyll a to pheophytin a to isolate the fluorescent response of the two pigments. The ratio of fluorescence response of the sample before and after acidification is used to estimate the concentration of chlorophyll a in the sample. For accurate results, collected samples need to be measured as soon as possible or properly preserved. The most accurate representation of chlorophyll a concentrations in a river occurs when measuring is done in the field. Currently an in situ method and/or device that continuously measures both chlorophyll a and pheophytin a does not exist. The purpose of the project is to develop an automatic and continuous measurement of both chlorophyll a and pheophytin a concentrations with a fluorometer. The acidification process is used to measure both fluorescent excitation of chlorophyll a and pheophytin a concentrations. This device will benefit researchers by providing a faster and more accurate way to gather algal population data, specifically in the San Joaquin River.