Laboratory and microcosm experiments testing the toxicity of chlorinated hydrocarbons on a cyanobacterium strain (Synechococcus PCC 6301) and on natural phytoplankton assemblages

István Bácsi, Tamás Török, Viktória B-Béres, Péter Török, Béla Tóthmérész, Alex Sándor Nagy, Gábor Vasas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the last few years, halogenated hydrocarbons have been detected in the soil, in the aquatic environment, in organisms, and even in drinking water. The toxic effects of three chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons (trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene and tetrachloroethane) were studied in laboratory experiments (using the cyanobacterium Synecococcus elongatus PCC 6301 as test organism) and in field-like circumstances (natural phytoplankton assemblages enclosed in microcosms). The results of the laboratory experiments showed that all of the tested compounds significantly inhibited the growth of the cultures within the first 4 h. Enzymatic changes of the treated cultures suggested that oxidative stress occured-all of the three compounds caused an increase in the activity of peroxidases and superoxide dismutase, and also increased the levels of lipid peroxidation. Observed changes in microcosms were comparable with the results of the laboratory experiments: the number of individuals and chlorophyll contents decreased in the treated assemblages. The elevated levels of peroxidation on the second day in the assemblages treated with tetrachloroethane and tetrachloroetylene suggest that oxidative stress could occur in field conditions. One of the most important findings is the decrease in species number. Our results showed that cryptomonads, some green algae species and the cyanobacterium Limnothrix gradually disappeared from the treated beakers during the experiment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-203
Number of pages15
JournalHydrobiologia
Volume710
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2013

Keywords

  • Chlorinated hydrocarbons
  • Growth inhibition
  • Laboratory experiments
  • Oxidative stress
  • Phytoplankton assemblages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science

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