The combined toxicity influence of microplastics and nonylphenol on microalgae Chlorella pyrenoidosa.Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2020 Jun 01; 195:110484.EE
Microplastics and nonylphenol (NP) are considered as emerging pollutant and have attracted wide attention, while their combined toxicity on aquatic organisms is barely researched. Therefore, the combined toxicity influence of NP with three types of microplastics containing polyethylene (PE1000, 13 μm and PE, 150 μm), polyamide (PA1000, 13 μm and PA, 150 μm) polystyrene (PS, 150 μm) on microalgae Chlorella pyrenoidosa was analyzed. Both growth inhibition, chlorophyll fluorescence, superoxide dismutase (SOD), malondialdehyde (MDA), and catalase (CAT) were determined. We found that single microplastics and NP both inhibited algal growth, thereby causing oxidative stress. The order of inhibition effect in single microplastics experiment was PE1000 > PA1000 > PE ≈ PS > PA. The combined toxicity experiment results indicated that the presence of microplastics had positive effect in terms of alleviating NP toxicity to C. pyrenoidosa, and the microplastics adsorption capacity to NP was the dominant contributing factor for this effect. According to the independent action model, the combined toxicity was antagonistic. Because the negative effect of smaller size microplastics on algal growth was aggravated with prolonged exposure time, the optimum effect of microplastics alleviated NP toxicity was PA1000 at 48 h, while this effect was substituted by PA at 96 h during combined toxicity. Thus, the toxicity of smaller size microplastics has a nonnegligible influence on combined toxicity. This study confirms that microplastics significantly affected the toxicity of organic pollutants on microalgae. Further research on the combined toxicity of smaller size microplastics with pollutants in chronic toxicity is needed.