Indexed on: 08 Nov '12Published on: 08 Nov '12Published in: Journal of Hazardous Materials
Isoproturon (IPU) is a pesticide used for protection of land crops from weed or pathogen attack. Recent survey shows that IPU has been detected as a contaminant in aquatic systems and may have negative impact on aquatic organisms. To understand the phytotoxicity and potential accumulation and degradation of IPU in algae, a comprehensive study was performed with the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Algae exposed to 5-50 μg L(-1) IPU for 3d displayed progressive inhibition of cell growth and reduced chlorophyll fluorescence. Time-course experiments with 25 μg L(-1) IPU for 6d showed similar growth responses. The 72 h EC50 value for IPU was 43.25 μg L(-1), NOEC was 5 μg L(-1) and LOEC was 15 μg L(-1). Treatment with IPU induced oxidative stress. This was validated by a group of antioxidant enzymes, whose activities were promoted by IPU exposure. The up-regulation of several genes coding for the enzymes confirmed the observation. IPU was shown to be readily accumulated by C. reinhardtii. However, the alga showed a weak ability to degrade IPU accumulated in its cells, which was best presented at the lower concentration (5 μg L(-1)) of IPU in the medium. The imbalance of accumulation and degradation of IPU may be the cause that resulted in the detrimental growth and cellular damage.