This work presents a method which allows speed and sensitiveness in ascertaining toxic effects on algae. The method is based on the measurement of the natural fluorescence emitted by all chlorophyll-containing photosynthetic organisms and thus provides a non-destructive tool for the study of metabolic alterations related to photosynthetic functions. Analysis of the fluorescence kinetics during the first seconds indicated that the values of four parameters related to the photosynthtetic activity are systematically changed in presence of pollutants, namely: Fp, the peak fluorescence, Ft, the terminal fluorescence and the two related complementary areas calculated from in vivo fluorescence kinetics. The effects of various heavy metals (Cd, u, Hg, Pb) on algae Selenastrum capricornutum were investigated with the above parameters. Our results support the feasability of a bioassay based on in vivo fluorescence measurements with a sensitive unicellular algal species. An experimental approach is defined, taking into account the minimal algal density per tested sample (10 000 cells/ml) and the optimal time of incubation (1 to 3 hrs).
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- On the Use of Algal Fluorescence Emission in Ecotoxicological Studies
A. D. Cvetkovic
- Springer Netherlands