Chemosphere ( IF 5.778 ) Pub Date : 2020-10-17 , DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.128662 Na Li; Liguo Qin; Meng Jin; Linlin Zhang; Weiwei Geng; Xinfeng Xiao
Heavy metals have caused widespread concern due to their adverse effects on aquatic organisms. However, there are few studies on their tolerance mechanism. In this study, the tolerance mechanisms of Cyclotella sp. to Cr(VI) were explored. The increase of antioxidant enzymes activity acting as a defense mechanism could help Cyclotella sp. to reduce the oxidative damage caused by the heavy metal Cr(VI). Cr(VI) was also combined with the functional groups on the cell surface to detoxify and was transported into the cell by binding to the carrier protein. In addition, it is worth noting that the molecular docking simulation showed that Cr(VI) combineed with macromolecular compounds in cells through hydrogen and ionic bonds, which can reduce the toxicity of chromium. The determination of chromium content in cells showed that chromium was accumulated in cells. Furthermore, the low concentration of Cr(VI) had a growth stimulation on Cyclotella sp., while the growth of Cyclotella sp. microalgae was obvious inhibited when Cr(VI) concentration was over 0.5 mg/L. The content of Chlorophyll a (Chl-a) and soluble protein both had a dramatic change under the stress of Cr(VI). Cell ultrastructure analysis showed that plasmolysis phenomenon and dissolution of organelle structures when Cyclotella sp. was exposed to Cr(VI). The series of changes in Cyclotella sp. allow it to be an indicator of Cr(VI) pollution in water. Meanwhile, these findings were helpful to further understand the tolerance mechanism of Cr(VI) on microalgae and provide new insights to assess Cr(VI) toxicity to the microalgae.