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Fish-killing algae discovered in Broads

PUBLISHED: 14:44 08 November 2019 | UPDATED: 14:44 08 November 2019

The golden algae known as Prymnseium parvum is generally harmless in its natural state. But, when infected with a virus, it can be deadly for fish. Supplied by: One on One Communications

The golden algae known as Prymnseium parvum is generally harmless in its natural state. But, when infected with a virus, it can be deadly for fish. Supplied by: One on One Communications

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An algae which wreaks havoc for anglers and kills fish has been found in Norfolk's waterways.

Professor Rob Field, Group Leader at the John Innes Centre in Norwich. Supplied by: One on One CommunicationsProfessor Rob Field, Group Leader at the John Innes Centre in Norwich. Supplied by: One on One Communications

But now researchers in Norwich have developed a test which could protect the Broads and save millions of pounds for the economy.

The algae, called Prymensium parvum, becomes toxic when it is infected with a virus - and is deadly to fish.

A new test created by IDna Genetics is being used to detect and help control a dangerous algae bloom that can cause havoc to the waterways of Norfolk. Supplied by: One on One CommunicationsA new test created by IDna Genetics is being used to detect and help control a dangerous algae bloom that can cause havoc to the waterways of Norfolk. Supplied by: One on One Communications

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The test finds the infected algae in the water which means it can then be controlled.

Dr Peter Isaac is the chief scientific officer at IDna and said the test is a new tool to support the Broads Authority. Supplied by: One on One Communication.Dr Peter Isaac is the chief scientific officer at IDna and said the test is a new tool to support the Broads Authority. Supplied by: One on One Communication.

IDna chief scientific officer, Dr Peter Isaac, said: "It's a promising development in seeking a solution to a global problem."

He added: "We were able to develop an effective, fast and extremely cost-effective method to detect the dangerous combination of algae and virus."

The test was developed by IDna Genetics, the John Innes Centre and the University of 
East Anglia.

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