Below are links to data gathered by the Laboratory for Aquatic Environmental Microbiology and Chemistry including both published and unpublished data.

Published Data

Publication Abstract Data Link Funding Source

Lucas J Beversdorf, K. Rude, C. Weirich, SL Bartlett, M. Seaman, C. Kozik, P. Biese, T. Gosz, M. Suha, C. Stempa, C. Shaw,CJ Hedman, J. Piatt, TR Miller. 2018. Analysis of cyanobacterial metabolites in surface and raw drinking waters reveals more than microcystin. Water Research. Submitted, Under Review.

Freshwater cyanobacterial blooms are becoming increasingly problematic in regions that rely on surface waters for drinking water production. Microcystins (MCs) are toxic peptides produced by multiple cyanobacterial genera with a global occurrence. Cyanobacteria also produce a variety of other toxic and/or otherwise bioactive peptides (TBPs) that have gained less attention including cyanopeptolins (Cpts), anabaenopeptins (Apts), and microginins (Mgn). In this study, we compared temporal and spatial trends of four MCs (MCLR, MCRR, MCYR, MCLA), three Cpts (Cpt1020, Cpt1041, Cpt1007), two Apts (AptF, AptB), and Mgn690 in raw drinking water and at six surface water locations above these drinking water intakes in a eutrophic lake. All four MC congeners and five of six TBPs were detected in lake and raw drinking water. Across all samples, MCLR was the most frequently detected metabolite (100% of samples) followed by MCRR (97%) > Cpt1007 (74%) > MCYR (69%) > AptF (67%) > MCLA (61%) > AptB (54%) > Mgn690 (29%) and Cpt1041 (15%). Mean daily loadings of MCs, Apts, and Cpts into two drinking water intakes were estimated at 179, 75, and 28 g day-1, respectively. Mean concentrations in surface water were significantly higher (p < 0.05) than in drinking water intakes for MCs but not for Cpts and Apts. Temporal trends in MCs, Cpts, and Apts in the two raw drinking water intakes were significantly correlated (p < 0.05) with measures of cell abundance (chlorophyll-a, Microcystis cell density), UV absorbance, and turbidity in surface water. This study expands current information about cyanobacterial TBPs that occur in lakes and that enter drinking water treatment plants and underscores the need to determine the fate of less studied cyanobacterial metabolites during drinking water treatment that may exacerbate toxicity of more well-known cyanobacterial toxins.

Data File

National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences Oceans and Human Health Program, 4R01ES022075-05

Contract from the City of Menasha Utilities

Bartlett,S.L., S.A. Brunner, J.Val Klump, E.M. Houghton, T.R. Miller. 2018. Spatial analysis of toxic or otherwise bioactive cyanobacterial peptides in Green Bay, Lake Michigan. J. Great. Lake. Res. Submitted, Under Review

Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (cyanoHABs) are a growing problem in freshwater systems worldwide. CyanoHABs are well documented in Green Bay, Lake Michigan but little is known about cyanoHAB toxicity.. This study characterized the diversity and spatial distribution of toxic or otherwise bioactive cyanobacterial peptides (TBPs) in Green Bay. Samples were collected in 2014 and 2015 during three cruises at sites spanning the mouth of the Fox River north to Chambers Island. Twenty different TBPs were analyzed including 11 different microcystin variants, nodularin, three anabaenopeptins, three cyanopeptolins and microginin-690. Of the 20 TBPs targeted,12 were detected in at least one sample including seven MCs, all three Apts, and two of three Cpts. The most prevalent TBPs were MC-RR and MC-LR, present in 94 and 65% of samples with an average and maximum concentration of 0.53 and 7.8 µg/L and 0.47 and 7.7 µg/L, respectively. The mean concentration of all TBPs was highest in the Fox River and lower bay, however, the maximum concentration of all TBPs occurred in the same sample north of the lower bay. Microcystin was positively correlated with chlorophyll and negatively correlated with distance to the Fox River in all cruises along a well-established south- north trophic gradient in Green Bay. Cyanopeptolins and anabaenopeptins did not trend with this trophic gradient or varied by cruise suggesting their occurrence is driven by separate environmental factors.

Data File

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UW- Milwaukee
Beversdorf, L. J.; Weirich, C. A.; Bartlett, S. L.; Miller, T. R. (2017) Variable cyanobacterial toxin and metabolite profiles across six eutrophic lakes of differing physiochemical characteristics. Toxins 9(2). Future sustainability of freshwater resources is seriously threatened due to the presence of harmful cyanobacterial blooms, and yet, the number, extent, and distribution of most cyanobacterial toxins—including “emerging” toxins and other bioactive compounds—are poorly understood. We measured 15 cyanobacterial compounds—including four microcystins (MC), saxitoxin (SXT), cylindrospermopsin (CYL), anatoxin-a (ATX) and homo-anatoxin-a (hATX), two anabaenopeptins (Apt), three cyanopeptolins (Cpt), microginin (Mgn), and nodularin (NOD)—in six freshwater lakes that regularly experience noxious cHABs. MC, a human liver toxin, was present in all six lakes and was detected in 80% of all samples. Similarly, Apt, Cpt, and Mgn were detected in all lakes in roughly 86%, 50%, and 35% of all samples, respectively. Despite being a notable brackish water toxin, NOD was detected in the two shallowest lakes—Wingra (4.3 m) and Koshkonong (2.1 m). All compounds were highly variable temporally, and spatially. Metabolite profiles were significantly different between lakes suggesting lake characteristics influenced the cyanobacterial community and/or metabolite production. Understanding how cyanobacterial toxins are distributed across eutrophic lakes may shed light onto the ecological function of these metabolites, provide valuable information for their remediation and removal, and aid in the protection of public health.

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Data File

National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences Oceans and Human Health Program, 4R01ES022075-05

Unpublished Data

Data Set Name Description Data Access Links Funding Support

In Situ Monitoring Data

High frequency in situ water quality and weather data from lakes and other aquatic environments studied by the Miller Laboratory and colleagues (coming soon!)

National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences Oceans and Human Health Program, 4R01ES022075-05

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

City of Milwaukee Health Department

Wisconsin Sea Grant

Citizens of the Lake Monitoring Program - Waste Water Indicators in the Milwaukee Estuary

Concentrations of pharmaceuticals, personal care products, recreational drugs and other wastewater indicators in Milwaukee waterways

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Interactive map

Download .csv file

Fund for Lake Michigan
Veteran's Park Lagoon Cyanotoxin Data

Concentrations of cyanobacterial toxins in Veteran's Park Lagoon, Milwaukee, WI

Download.csv files

2015 Data

2016 Data

2017 Data


Wisconsin Sea Grant