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Drs. Theo Dreher and Ryan Mueller have identified the toxin that caused a deadly algal bloom in Detroit Lake and rendered drinking water unsafe. Dreher said knowing which organisms to study will be key to learning how to prevent harmful algal blooms in the future. And that’s sort of important, because once you know that organism you can study it in isolation and start to look at the factors that lead to its massive growth in a bloom, Dreher said. You really can’t get to the bottom of why these blooms are being produced without specific information. The study found two types of cyanobacteria in Oregon’s Detroit Lake that were producing two different toxins. One of the toxins is known as cylindrospermopsin and the other is an uncommon form of microcystin, a recognized liver toxin. The results published in Harmful Algae, revealed new information about exactly which cyanobacteria organisms produce specific toxins.