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    A Rapid Bioassay Using the Green Alga Selenastrum capricornutum to Screen for Toxicity in St. Lawrence River Sediment Elutriates

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    A toxicity bioassay using the green alga Selenastrum capricornutum and measuring inhibition of photosynthetic carbon-14 (14C)-labeled carbon dioxide (14CO2) assimilation is described. The essential test specifications are the following:

    (a) experimental vessels: 16-mL test tubes;

    (b) exposure and incubation times: 20 h exposure plus 4 h incubation;

    (c) dilution water: demineralized H2O;

    (d) algal cell density: 1.9 × 105 cells mL−1;

    (e) radioactivity: 0.072 µCi mL−1, as 14C-labeled sodium bicarbonate [Na2(H14CO3)2];

    (f) nutrient enrichment: 1 mL of × 10 provisional algal assay procedure (PAAP) medium; and

    (g) isotope partitioning: acidification and bubbling.

    The resulting method is rapid, sensitive, and reliable (coefficient of variation < 10%) and is applied to elutriates of St. Lawrence River sediments in an ongoing research project.


    hazard evaluation, toxicity, bioassays, algae, Selenastrum capricornutum, sediments, elutriates, carbon-14-labeled carbon dioxide (, 14, CO, 2, ), 14, CO, 2, uptake, St. Lawrence River, copper chloride

    Author Information:

    Ross, P
    Associate aquatic toxicologist, Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, Il

    Jarry, V
    Agent de recherche, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec

    Sloterdijk, H
    Survey scientist, Inland Waters Directorate, Environment Canada, Longueuil, Québec

    Committee/Subcommittee: D19.24

    DOI: 10.1520/STP26256S