Rapid exposure assessment of PSII herbicides in surface water using a novel chlorophyll a fluorescence imaging assay
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Recently a new Maxi-Imaging-PAM (Max-I-PAM) instrument for phytotoxicity assessment via chlorophyll fluorescence imaging was introduced. This new instrument allows rapid detection of the effects of PS II inhibiting herbicides which are high use agricultural chemicals frequently detected in surface waters in Australia and elsewhere. Several studies have applied the new instrument for detection of phytotoxicants in water using microalgae suspensions; however, these use preliminary protocols and to date no validated method is available for high throughput testing of environmental samples in 96-well plates. Here we developed and applied a new protocol allowing dose-response assessment of four samples within 2 h (8 dilutions in duplicate). The technique was found to be sensitive, with a detection limit of 2.3 ng l-1 for the herbicide diuron when testing solid phase extracts (SPE) of 1000 ml water samples, and reproducible both between experiments (coefficient of variation (CV) = 0.30) and within the 96-well plate (CV = 0.06). Relative potencies were determined for four reference PS II impacting herbicides (diuron > hexazinone > atrazine > simazine). Extracts from 1000 ml environmental samples and diuron spiked ultrapure water as well as passive sampler extracts were evaluated and good agreement was found between diuron equivalent concentrations calculated from bioassay results (DEQIPAM) and DEQCHEM values calculated from LCMS chemical analysis of the four reference compounds in the same samples. Overall, the technique provides a valuable bioanalytical tool for rapid and inexpensive effects-based assessment of PS II impacting herbicides in environmental mixtures.
Science of the Total Environment
Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified