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Scientists develop a new approach to test water biotoxicity

  • Scientists develop new approach to test water biotoxicity

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Chinese Academy of Sciences
The Chinese Academy of Sciences is the linchpin of China's drive to explore and harness high technology and the natural sciences for the benefit of China and the world.
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Schneider Electric
Idrica

A research team led by ZHAO Nanjing with Anhui Institute of Optics Fine Mechanics of the Hefei Institutes of Physical Science releazed a new approach to detect water biological toxicity based on the inhibition effect of algae photosynthesis.

In ecotoxicology, how long the toxicity evaluation takes and how sensitive it is matter as key factors. Therefore, there is a trend to develop a way to obtain the evaluation results quickly and sensitively.

In fact, biological toxicity monitoring method based on the photosynthetic activity parameters of algae removes bottleneck of the traditional "algal growth inhibition test" toxicity detection method, which is limited by the cell cycle and has a long measurement cycle. It possesses advantages of quick response, rich parameters and simple measurement, and is considered as a potential approach for rapid monitoring and early warning of water pollution toxicity.

In their work this time, chlorophyll fluorescence was used as the probe of algal photosynthesis process to carry out the photosynthetic inhibition test of Chlorella pyrenoidosa in 72 hours and 70 minutes under the acute toxicity of phenol, and to study the response law of various photosynthetic activity parameters of algae under different toxicity intensity.

The results showed that the acute toxicity of phenol had a significant inhibitory effect on the photosynthetic activity parameters Fv/Fm, rP, α, Ek, and JVPII, and the toxicity effect could be stable within 5 minutes.

Their work may provide a new method to detect water biological toxicity, ecotoxicological research and rapid detection of toxic substances.

The research work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Plan of China, the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Anhui Province Excellent Youth Science Foundation of China.


Response of photosynthetic activity parameters to phenol stress at different concentrations for 5 mins (Image by YIN Gaofang) 

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