Comparison of Acute Toxicity of Algal Metabolites Using Bioluminescence Inhibition Assay

Hansa Jeswani

Abstract


Microalgae are reported to degrade hazardous compounds. However, algae, especially cyanobacteria are known to produce secondary metabolites which may be toxic to flora, fauna and human beings. The aim of this study was selection of an appropriate algal culture for biological treatment of biomass gasification wastewater based on acute toxicity considerations. The three algae that were selected were Spirulina sp., Scenedesmus abundans and a fresh water algal consortium. Acute toxicity of the metabolites produced by these algal cultures was tested at the end of log phase using the standard bioluminescence inhibition assay based on Vibrio fischeri NRRLB 11174. Scenedesmus abundans and a fresh water algal consortium dominated by cyanobacteria such as Phormidium, Chroococcus and Oscillatoria did not release much toxic metabolites at the end of log phase and caused only about 20% inhibition in bioluminescence. In comparison, Spirulina sp. released toxic metabolites and caused 50% bioluminescence inhibition at 3/5 times dilution of the culture supernatant (EC50).

 


Keywords


Cyanobacteria; secondary metabolites, Spirulina sp., Scenedesmus abundans, fresh water algal consortia, Vibrio fischeri

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