An investigation onto Cd toxicity to freshwater microalga Chlorella sorokiniana in mixotrophy and photoautotrophy: A Bayesian approach

Adriano Evandir Marchello, Natalia Lombardi Oliveira, Ana Teresa Lombardi, Adriano Polpo

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Aquatic ecosystems are composed by a myriad of dissolved organic materials that can be assimilated by microalgae, while they can perform photosynthesis, this is refereed as mixotrophy. However, ecotoxicological tests usually consider only the photoautotrophic metabolism. This research investigated the ecotoxicological differences between photoautotrophy and mixotrophy in Chlorella sorokiniana exposed to cadmium (Cd). Chlorophyll a, photosynthetic efficiency (Fv/Fm), cell viability, biochemical composition and pH were used to monitor possible toxic effects at 72 h cultures. Glucose (1 g.L-1) was used as organic carbon source. To evaluate the probability of the photoautotrophic culture being more affected by Cc than the mixotrophic one, Bayesian statistical analysis was performed. The photoautotrophic cultures were more affected by Cd than the mixotrophic ones, with reduction of all evaluated parameters, excep for protein concentration. However, in mixotrophic cultures, no changes in protein concentration and proteins:carbohydrates ratio were observed, and chlorophyll a, Fv/Fm and cell viability were only affected at the high Cd concentrations (range In -11.5 to -9.4). However, both mixotrophy and photoautotrophy had the same probability of having the carbohydrates concentration affected by Cd. We conclude that the microalgae in mixotrophy were more resistant to the Cd than in photoautotrophy. In addition, we showed that under photoautotrophy Fv/Fm decreased linearly as Cd concentration increased, but in mixotrophy no effect was observed up to 10-5 molL(-1) Cd, after which it decreased. We rationale that the reduced photosynthetic capacity under mixotrophy can end up reducing the release of oxygen gas, which can compromise the entire aquatic ecosystem. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)794-803
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes

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