Ecotoxicity of two organophosphate pesticides chlorpyrifos and dichlorvos on non-targeting cyanobacteria Microcystis wesenbergii.

Research paper by Kai-Feng KF Sun, Xiang-Rong XR Xu, Shun-Shan SS Duan, You-Shao YS Wang, Hao H Cheng, Zai-Wang ZW Zhang, Guang-Jie GJ Zhou, Yi-Guo YG Hong

Indexed on: 10 Apr '15Published on: 10 Apr '15Published in: Ecotoxicology


Organophosphate pesticides (OPs), as a replacement for the organochlorine pesticides, are generally considered non-toxic to plants and algae. Chlorpyrifos and dichlorvos are two OPs used for pest control all over the world. In this study, the dose-response of cyanobacteria Microcystis wesenbergii on OPs exposure and the stimulating effect of OPs with and without phosphorus source were investigated. The results showed that high concentrations of chlorpyrifos and dichlorvos caused significant decrease of chlorophyll a content. The median inhibitory concentrations (EC50) of chlorpyrifos and dichlorvos at 96 h were 15.40 and 261.16 μmol L(-1), respectively. Growth of M. wesenbergii under low concentration of OPs (ranged from 1/10,000 to 1/20 EC50), was increased by 35.85 % (chlorpyrifos) and 41.83 % (dichlorvos) at 120 h, respectively. Correspondingly, the highest enhancement on the maximum quantum yield (F v/F m) was 4.20 % (24 h) and 9.70 % (48 h), respectively. Chlorophyll fluorescence kinetics, known as O-J-I-P transients, showed significant enhancements in the O-J, J-I, and I-P transients under low concentrations of dichlorvos at 144 h, while enhancements of chlorophyll fluorescence kinetics induced by low concentrations of chlorpyrifos were only observed in the J-I transient at 144 h. Significant decreases of chlorophyll content, F v/F m and O-J-I-P transients with OPs as sole phosphorus source were found when they were compared with inorganic phosphate treatments. The results demonstrated an evidently hormetic dose-response of M. wesenbergii to both chlorpyrifos and dichlorvos, where high dose (far beyond environmental concentrations) exposure caused growth inhibition and low dose exposure induced enhancement on physiological processes. The stimulating effect of two OPs on growth of M. wesenbergii was negligible under phosphate limitation.