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Cyanobacterial blooms, such as those recently reported in Great Slave Lake (GSL, NWT), have sparked concern over the occurrence of toxic blooms in the North. This study investigated past and present incidences of cyanobacteria in lakes above latitude 60° N. The abundance of the toxin (microcystin) gene mcyE, as well as genes common to all cyanobacteria (16S rRNA) and bacteria (glnA) were quantified from lake sediment cores using ddPCR. Individual colony isolates from a surface bloom indoi:10.20381/ruor-622 fatcat:dizygq7rgvbz7oj75bspalyufy