The Selection of a Model Microalgal Species as Biomaterial for a Novel Aquatic Phytotoxicity Assay
MetadataShow full item record
A phytotoxicity assay based on the ToxY-PAM dual-channel yield analyser has been developed and successfully incorporated into field assessments for the detection of phytotoxicants in water. As a means of further exploring the scope of the assay application and of selecting a model biomaterial to complement the instrument design, nine algal species were exposed to four chemical substances deemed of priority for water quality monitoring purposes (chlorpyrifos, copper, diuron and nonylphenol ethoxylate). Inter-species differences in sensitivity to the four toxicants varied by a factor of 1.9-100. Measurements of photosystem-II quantum yield using these nine single-celled microalgae as biomaterial corroborated previous studies which have shown that the ToxY-PAM dual-channel yield analyser is a highly sensitive method for the detection of PS-II impacting herbicides. Besides Phaeodactylum tricornutum, the previously applied biomaterial, three other species consistently performed well (Nitzschia closterium, Chlorella vulgaris and Dunaliella tertiolecta) and will be used in further test optimisation experiments. In addition to sensitivity, response time was evaluated and revealed a high degree of variation between species and toxicants. While most species displayed relatively weak and slow responses to copper, C. vulgaris demonstrated an IC10 of 51 gL-1, with maximum response measured within 25 minutes and inhibition being accompanied by a large decrease in fluorescence yield. The potential for this C. vulgaris-based bioassay to be used for the detection of copper is discussed. There was no evidence that the standard ToxY-PAM protocol, using these unicellular algae species, could be used for the detection of chlorpyrifos or nonylphenol ethoxylate at environmentally relevant levels.
Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified