Physiological responses of Dunaliella salina and Dunaliella tertiolecta to copper toxicity

Department of Biology, College of Sciences, Shiraz University, Shiraz 71454, Islamic Republic of Iran.
Biomolecular Engineering (Impact Factor: 3.17). 11/2005; 22(4):141-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.bioeng.2005.07.001
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Species differences in heavy metal tolerance were investigated by comparing the responses of Dunaliella tertiolecta and Dunaliella salina to elevated concentrations of CuCl2. Although both species showed reduced cell number ml(-1) of algal culture, D. salina was more affected by increase in CuCl2. This reflects higher sensitivity of D. salina to CuCl2 compared to D. tertiolecta. Total chlorophyll in terms of microg ml(-1) was higher in D. tertiolecta at all tested CuCl2 levels, but in terms of microg cell(-1) no significant difference was observed between the two species. Total carotenoids in microg cell(-1) increased with increase in CuCl2 in both species and it was about five times higher in D. salina at all CuCl2 concentrations. While both species showed significant increase in lipid peroxidation at elevated CuCl2, the malondialdehyde content of D. salina cells was about three times higher at most CuCl2 concentrations. Although ascorbate peroxidase (APX) activity increased with increase in CuCl2 levels in both species, higher activity was observed in D. tertiolecta at all tested CuCl2 concentrations. Cu content of D. salina cells was higher than D. tertiolecta which may be due to larger volume of D. salina cells. In conclusion, since hydroxyl radical (HO*) produced from H2O2 by Cu2+ (Haber-Weiss cycle) is involved in lipid peroxidation, higher ascorbate peroxidase activity in D. tertiolecta may partly account for lower sensitivity of this species to CuCl2 compared to D. salina.

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