Management of cyanobacteria blooms and their negative impact on human and ecosystem health requires effective tools for monitoring their concentration in water bodies. This research investigated the potential of derivative spectrophotometry in detection and monitoring of cyanobacteria using toxigenic and non-toxigenic strains of Microcystis aeruginosa
. Microcystis aeruginosa
was quantified in deionized water and surface water using traditional spectrophotometry and the first derivative of absorbance. The first derivative of absorbance was effective in improving the signal of traditional spectrophotometry; however, it was not adequate in differentiating between signal and noise at low concentrations. Savitzky-Golay coefficients for first derivative were used to smooth the derivative spectra and improve the correlation between concentration and noise at low concentrations. Derivative spectrophotometry improved the detection limit as much as eight times in deionized water and as much as four times in surface water. The lowest detection limit measured in surface water with traditional spectrophotometry was 392,982 cells/mL, and the Savitzky-Golay first derivative of absorbance was 90,231 cells/mL. The method provided herein provides a promising tool in real-time monitoring of cyanobacteria concentrations and spectrophotometry offers the ability to measure water quality parameters together with cyanobacteria concentrations.
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