Pollutant toxicology with respect to microalgae and cyanobacteria

Haifeng Qian , Tao Lu , Qi Zhang , Zhenyan Zhang , Baolan Hu , Jianmeng Chen , Jun Chen


Received April 16, 2020,Revised , Accepted June 28, 2020, Available online July 05, 2020

Volume 33,2021,Pages 175-186

Microalgae and cyanobacteria are fundamental components of aquatic ecosystems. Pollution in aquatic environment is a worldwide problem. Toxicological research on microalgae and cyanobacteria can help to establish a solid foundation for aquatic ecotoxicological assessments. Algae and cyanobacteria occupy a large proportion of the biomass in aquatic environments; thus, their toxicological responses have been investigated extensively. However, the depth of toxic mechanisms and breadth of toxicological investigations need to be improved. While existing pollutants are being discharged into the environment daily, new ones are also being produced continuously. As a result, the phenomenon of water pollution has become unprecedentedly complex. In this review, we summarize the latest findings on five kinds of aquatic pollutants, namely, metals, nanomaterials, pesticides, pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs), and persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Further, we present information on emerging pollutants such as graphene, microplastics, and ionic liquids. Efforts in studying the toxicological effects of pollutants on microalgae and cyanobacteria must be increased in order to better predict the potential risks posed by these materials to aquatic ecosystems as well as human health.

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