Toxicity of Heavy Metals on Scenedesmus quadricauda (Turp.) de Brébisson in Batch Cultures (7 pp)

Research paper by Muwafq Mohammed, Bernd Markert

Indexed on: 31 Jul '05Published on: 31 Jul '05Published in: Environmental Science and Pollution Research


Aquatic environments are often exposed to various pollutants like heavy metals that are released from industrial, agricultural and domestic wastes. Emissions of heavy metals can then enter all ecosystems and bring about severe problems in plants, especially algae depending on the concentrations of a given element. The objective of the investigation presented is to detect toxic effects due to some heavy metals in the biomass of green alga Scenedesmus quadricauda. All experiments were conducted with axenic cultures of the green alga Scenedesmus quadricauda (Turp.) de Brebisson (Chlorococcales, Chlorophyta). The cultures were grown in Chu-no.10 medium, and optimum physical and chemical growth conditions were provided to get higher growth rates and lower doubling times of cells. Growth of the micro algal cultures was measured on a daily schedule by counting cultures and determination of chlorophyll-a. The sterile-filtered heavy metal concentration solutions (Cd, Pb and Cu) were prepared and added as stock solutions of their salts (CdCl2*2.5 H2O, Pb(NO3)2*H2O and CuSO4*5 H2O). The growth decreased gradually with the alga exposed to Cd at 0.05, 0.1, and 0.5 mg/L in comparison with the control whereas 1 mg/L Cd2+ had a clearly destructive effect. The growth was decreased with Pb at 15, 20 and 25 mg/L gradually, while at 30 mg/L the effect was more pronounced. When Cu was used, the growth was increased gradually at 0.5, 1 and 1.5 mg/L and vice versa at 2 mg/L. There were differences in toxic effects of the metals with different metal as well as their concentrations and the time of exposure.