STP1096

    Flow Cytometric Techniques to Assess Toxicity to Algae

    Published: Jan 1990


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    Abstract

    Flow cytometry provides a fast and quantitative method to determine the effects of a toxicant on individual algal cells. The effects of the surfactant, sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), and the herbicide, atrazine, on the viability of Selenastrum capricornutum cells as measured by monitoring green fluorescence of algal cells stained with fluorescein diacetate (FDA) by flow cytometric techniques were compared to the results of standard 96-h algal toxicity tests. Cell viability (green fluorescence) was a sensitive measure of the effects of SDS on S. capricornutum. The EC50 values for the reduction of the viability of cells after 48-h of exposure was 104.8 mg/L SDS (95% C.I., 63.7 to 172.3 mg/L), which was similar to the 96-h EC50 for specific growth rate (81.4 mg/L SDS; 95% C.I., 62.0 to 106.8 mg/L). Cell viability was not as sensitive to the effects of atrazine as was growth rate because of the algistatic properties of this herbicide. The 96-h EC50 of atrazine for algal growth rate was 128.2 μg/L (95% C.I., 118.9 to 132.2 μg/L), relative to the 48-h EC50 of 1500 μg/L atrazine for cell viability, as measured by the flow cytometric techniques. Unlike growth rate endpoints, flow cytometric measurement of cell viability was able to distinguish between algicidal and algistatic toxicants.

    Keywords:

    Selenastrum capricornutum, toxicity, atrazine, sodium dodecyl sulfate, growth, cell viability, flow cytometry, algae, bioassay, SDS, herbicide


    Author Information:

    Gala, WR
    Pesticide Research Center, Center for Environmental Toxicology, Michigan State UniversityChevron Environmental Health Center, Inc., East LansingRichmond, MICA

    Giesy, JP
    Pesticide Research Center, Center for Environmental Toxicology, Michigan State UniversityChevron Environmental Health Center, Inc., East LansingRichmond, MICA


    Paper ID: STP20110S

    Committee/Subcommittee: E47.09

    DOI: 10.1520/STP20110S


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