Cadmium accumulation and toxicity in the unicellular alga Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata: Influence of metal-binding exudates and exposure time

Abstract : Predicting metal availability and toxicity for chronic (several hours or days) metal exposure scenarios, even for unicellular algae, is a major challenge to existing toxicity models. This is because several factors affecting metal uptake and toxicity, such as the release of metal-binding exudates, changes in the kinetics of metal uptake and toxicity over time, and algal physiological acclimation to internalized metals, are still poorly understood. The present study assessed the influence of these factors on Cd uptake and toxicity in laboratory batch cultures of the freshwater alga Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata. To do so, changes in the free Cd2+ concentrations caused by the release of metal-binding algal exudates were monitored,Cd-109 accumulation in algal cells was measured, and Cd-induced inhibition of algal growth as a function of exposure time (from 12h to 96h) was followed. Results indicate that metal-binding exudates may decrease the proportion of the free Cd2+ ion in solution up to 2-fold, a decrease that affects Cd uptake and toxicity. Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata has the capacity to decrease net Cd uptake rate on short time scales (<24h), but this reduction in the Cd uptake rate disappeared after 24h, and Cd toxicity occurred at relatively high Cd concentrations in solution. These data illustrate some of the pitfalls of standard algal toxicity assays, which were designed for acute exposures, and suggest how robust chronic bioassays might be developed.
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Submitted on : Monday, December 28, 2015 - 10:02:11 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, April 10, 2019 - 6:56:07 PM

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Nathalie Paquet, Michel Lavoie, Frédéric Maloney, Jérôme F.L. Duval, Peter G.C. Campbell, et al.. Cadmium accumulation and toxicity in the unicellular alga Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata: Influence of metal-binding exudates and exposure time. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Wiley, 2015, 34 (7), pp.1524-1532. ⟨10.1002/etc.2927⟩. ⟨hal-01248836⟩

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