The effect of microplastics pollution in microalgal biomass production: A biochemical study
authors Cunha, C; Lopes, J; Paulo, J; Faria, M; Kaufmann, M; Nogueira, N; Ferreira, A; Cordeiro, N
nationality International
journal WATER RESEARCH
author keywords Microplastics contamination; Polystyrene; Polymethyl methacrylate; Microalgae; Phaeodactylum tricornutum; Biomass
keywords WATER TREATMENT PLANTS; DIATOM PHAEODACTYLUM-TRICORNUTUM; WASTE-WATER; POLYSTYRENE MICROPLASTICS; MARINE MICROALGAE; BIOFUELS; EXTRACTION; PARTICLES; GROWTH; IDENTIFICATION
abstract Microplastics (MPs) are widely spread throughout aquatic systems and water bodies. Given that water quality is one of the most important parameters in the microalgal-based industry, it is critical to assess the biochemical impact of shortand long-term exposure to MPs pollution. Here, the microalga Phaeo-dactylum tricornutum was exposed to water contaminated with 0.5 and 50 mg L-1 of polystyrene (PS) and/or polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). Results show that the microalgal cultures exposed to lower concentrations of PS displayed a growth enhancement of up to 73% in the first stage (days 3-9) of the exponential growth phase. Surprisingly, and despite the fact that long-term exposure to MPs contamination did not impair microalgal growth, a steep decrease in biomass production (of up to 82%) was observed. The production of photosynthetic pigments was shown to be pH-correlated during the full growth cycle, but cell density-independent in later stages of culturing. The extracellular carbohydrates production exhibited a major decrease during long-term exposure. Still, the production of extracellular proteins was not affected by the presence of MPs. This pilot laboratory-scale study shows that the microalgal exposure to water contaminated with MPs disturbs its biochemical equilibrium in a time-dependent manner, decreasing biomass production. Thus, microalgal industry-related consequences derived from the use of MPs-contaminated water are a plausible possibility. (c) 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
publisher PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
issn 0043-1354
year published 2020
volume 186
digital object identifier (doi) 10.1016/j.watres.2020.116370
web of science category Engineering, Environmental; Environmental Sciences; Water Resources
subject category Engineering; Environmental Sciences & Ecology; Water Resources
unique article identifier WOS:000589968900022
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