AutoriJuarez AB, Barsanti L., Evangelista V., Passarelli V., Vesentini N., Conforti V., and Gualtieri P
AbstractIn microorganisms and plants, chromium (Cr) is not essential for any metabolic process, and can ultimately prove highly deleterious. Due to its widespread industrial use, chromium has become a serious pollutant in diverse environmental settings. The presence of Cr leads to the selection of specific algal populations able to tolerate high levels of Cr compounds. The varying Cr-resistance mechanisms displayed by microorganisms include biosorption, diminished accumulation, precipitation, reduction of Cr(6+) to Cr(3+), and chromate efflux. In this paper we describe the effects of Cr(6+) (the most toxic species) on the photosynthetic and photoreceptive apparatus of two fresh water microalgae, Eudorina unicocca and Chlorella kessleri. We measured the effect of this heavy metal by means of in vivo absorption microspectroscopy of both the thylakoid compartments and the eyespot. The decomposition of the overall absorption spectra in pigment constituents indicates that Cr(6+) effects are very different in the two algae. In E. unicocca the metal induced a complete pheophinitization of the chlorophylls and a modification of the carotenoids present in the eyespot after only 120 h of exposition at a concentration equal or greater than 40 microM, which is the limit for total Cr discharge established by US EPA regulations. In C. kessleri, chromium concentrations a hundred times higher than this limit had no effect on the photosynthetic machinery. The different tolerance level of the two algae is suggested to be due to the different properties of the mucilaginous envelope and cell wall covering, respectively, the colonies of Eudorina and the single cells of Chlorella, which binds chromium cations to a different extent.
RivistaJournal Of Environmental Monitoring (print)
Impact factor
Pagina inizio1313
Pagina fine1318
Linee di Ricerca IBFMD.P01.008.001