Fate and effects of octylphenol in a Microcystis aeruginosa culture medium.Aquat Toxicol. 2009 Apr 09; 92(2):59-64.AT
Octylphenol (OP) is a xenobiotic with endocrine disrupting properties found in freshwaters worldwide. Its effects have been studied in organisms with nuclear receptors but effects on phytoplankton communities are poorly characterized, despite the fact that these organisms are constantly exposed to this compound. For this reason fate and effects of OP in the cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa were assessed from 10 nM to 5 microM OP concentration. Up to a test concentration of 250 nM, OP removal increased significantly in the presence of cyanobacteria, the compound half-life in the absence of cells being 15 days against 9 days in the presence of the cells. Only 4% of the total OP removed was found bound to the cells, indicating an active metabolization of the compound. Moreover, the role of the exudates produced by M. aeruginosa, in the OP removal from culture medium, was assessed. Culture medium with exudates, resulting from a 7-day growth of M. aeruginosa, spiked with 50 nM OP, showed a higher half-life (22 days). Compared to culture medium without exudates, it can be hypothesized that higher organic matter concentrations make the hydrolysis or photolysis of OP more difficult. In culture media, the cells of M. aeruginosa could compensate and even counteract this, as OP half-life was shortened. At higher OP levels (1.25 and 5 microM) M. aeruginosa growth was impaired, indicating toxic effects. This shortage of biomass prevented the M. aeruginosa-assisted OP withdrawal from the culture media.