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Sensitivity evaluation of the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii touranium by pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) fluorometry

Aquatic Toxicology / Volumes 140-141, pages 288-294, 15th September 2013

Document type > *Article de revue

Keywords >

Research Unit > IRSN/PRP-ENV/SERIS/LECO

Authors > HERLORY Olivier, BONZOM Jean-Marc, GILBIN Rodolphe

Publication Date > 01/09/2013

Summary

Although ecotoxicological studies tend to address the toxicity thresholds of uranium in freshwaters, there is a lack of information on the effects of the metal on physiological processes, particularly in aquatic plants. Knowing that uranium alters photosynthesis via impairment of the water photo-oxidation process, we determined whether pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) fluorometry was a relevant tool for assessing the impact of uranium on the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and investigated how and to what extent uranium hampered photosynthetic performance. Photosynthetic activity and quenching were assessed from fluorescence induction curves generated by PAM fluorometry, after 1 and 5 h of uranium exposure in controlled conditions. The oxygen-evolving complex (OEC) of PSII was identified as the primary action site of uranium, through alteration of the water photo-oxidation process as revealed by F0/Fv. Limiting re-oxidation of the plastoquinone pool, uranium impaired the electron flux between the photosystems until almost complete inhibition of the PSII quantum efficiency (Fq/FmF′q/F′m, EC50 = 303 ± 64 μg U L−1 after 5 h of exposure) was observed. Non-photochemical quenching (qN) was identified as the most sensitive fluorescence parameter (EC50 = 142 ± 98 μg U L−1 after 5 h of exposure), indicating that light energy not used in photochemistry was dissipated in non-radiative processes. It was shown that parameters which stemmed from fluorescence induction kinetics are valuable indicators for evaluating the impact of uranium on PSII in green algae. PAM fluorometry provided a rapid and reasonably sensitive method for assessing stress response to uranium in microalgae.

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