UF Chemists Target Toxic Algae Blooms in Florida’s Lakes and Rivers (UF College of Pharmacy News)

UF Chemists Target Toxic Algae Blooms in Florida’s Lakes and Rivers

As large blooms of toxic blue-green algae have become an annual phenomenon in Florida’s freshwater lakes and rivers, as well as other places worldwide, University of Florida researchers have identified a new method to control its growth.

Pollution and warm water temperatures during the summer months create a favorable environment for algae growth. The blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, threatens drinking water supply, fish and wildlife, agriculture, tourism and human health.

Yousong Ding, Ph.D., an associate professor of medicinal chemistry in the UF College of Pharmacy, is exploring new cellular targets for controlling undesirable microbial growth, which are broadly related to drug-resistant microbial infections and toxic cyanobacteria blooms. In a study published in the American Chemical Society’s journal Chemical Biology, Ding’s research team identified the enzyme dihydroxyacid dehydratase, or DHAD, as a target for inhibiting microbial growth.

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