Environmental health and toxicology

Growth response and toxic effects of three antibiotics on Selenastrumcapricornutum evaluated by photosynthetic rateand chlorophyll biosynthesis

Binyang Liu , Weiqiu Liu , Xiangping Nie , Chao Guan , Yufeng Yang , Zhaohui Wang , Wei Liao


Received October 24, 2010,Revised April 02, 2011, Accepted , Available online

Volume 23,2011,Pages 1558-1563

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The effects of three types of antibiotics (erythromycin, ciprofloxacin and sulfamethoxazole) on the photosynthesis of freshwater algae, Selenastrum capricornutum Printz, were investigated by determining the growth rate, chloroplast pigments content, seven main precursors (including -aminolevulinic acid, porphobilinogen, uroporphyrinogen III, coproporphyrinogen III, protoporphyrin IX, Mg-proporphyrin IX and protochlorophyllide), and photosynthetic rate during chlorophyll biosynthesis. The antibiotics significantly decreased the growth rate, chlorophyll content, and photosynthetic rate. Erythromycin induced a decreasing effect at a concentration of 0.06 mg/L, while ciprofloxacin and sulfamethoxazole achieved the same results at concentrations higher than 1.5 mg/L. Only erythromycin significantly inhibited chlorophyll biosynthesis, which indicated that it was considerably more toxic to S. capricornutum than ciprofloxacin and sulfamethoxazole, and may pose a high potential risk to aquatic ecosystems.

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