Cadmium biosorption and biomass production by two freshwater microalgae Scenedesmus acutus and Chlorella pyrenoidosa: An integrated approach.Chemosphere. 2021 Apr; 269:128755.C
Cadmium (Cd) contamination in different water bodies is a matter of serious concern, as it can cause biomagnification in our food chain up to several trophic levels. In this study, Cd toxicity was investigated in the micro-algae Chlorella pyrenoidosa and Scenedesmus acutus exposed to various concentrations of Cd for 96 h. The inhibitory and toxic effects of Cd2+ on growth and photosynthetic parameters of algae were demonstrated. The bioremediation potentials of these algae were investigated and bioremoval mechanisms were confirmed using qualitative electron microscopic assay such as scanning/transmission electron microscope (S/TEM). The photochemical quenching (Fv/Fm), quantum yield (YII), relative electron transfer rate (rETR) and non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) were inhibited significantly and reduced by ≥ 50% of the control at MIC 50 values. The C. pyrenoidosa and S. acutus biomass have shown 30% and 20% reduction in carbon content and 10% and 12% reduction in nitrogen content at MIC50 values of Cd2+ treatment, respectively. During bioremoval studies, C. pyrenoidosa and S. acutus have shown 45.45% and 57.14% Cd2+ removal of Cd2+ from initial concentration of 1.5 ppm. Out of total cadmium removal C. pyrenoidosa was reported 3% bioaccumulation and 97% biosorption. Whereas S. acutus showed 1.5% accumulation and 98.5% biosorption. The S/TEM images showed the surface accumulation and bioaccumulation of cadmium inside the cytoplasm, vacuoles, and chloroplast. Thus cultivating C. pyrenoidosa and S. acutus would be beneficial in Cd2+ contaminated water bodies as they serve the dual purpose by Cd remediation and algal biomass production.