Pentachlorophenol toxicity to a mixture of Microcystis aeruginosa and Chlorella vulgaris cultures.Aquat Toxicol. 2014 May; 150:159-64.AT
Pentachlorophenol (PCP) is a priority pollutant due to its persistence and high toxicity. For the first time, PCP effects were investigated at laboratory scale on co-cultures of two ubiquitous freshwater phytoplankton species: the cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa and the microalgae Chlorella vulgaris. The cells were exposed to environmental levels of PCP for 10 days in Fraquil culture medium, at nominal concentrations from 0.1 to 10,000 μg L(-1). Growth was assessed by area under growth curve (cell count vs. time). The phytoplankton community structure can be changed as a consequence of a PCP contamination. Low μg L(-1) levels of PCP are advantageous to M. aeruginosa. This is the first report of the promoting effect of PCP on the growth of aquatic cyanobacteria, using mixtures with microalgae. As a result of the direct toxic effects of high PCP concentrations on M. aeruginosa, C. vulgaris cell count increased given that in biological controls M. aeruginosa inhibited the C. vulgaris growth. At 16.7 mg L(-1), PCP already had direct toxic effects also on the microalga. The pH of culture medium tended to decrease with increasing PCP concentrations, which was mostly related to the growth inhibition of cyanobacterium caused by PCP. The PCP concentration was stable in the co-cultures, which differed from what has been observed in monocultures of the same two species. Short-term laboratory assays with two phytoplankton species gives important information on the species interactions, namely possible direct and indirect effects of a toxicant, and must be considered in ecotoxicity studies regarding environmental extrapolations.