Effects of benzophenone-3 on the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and the cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa

Feijian Mao, Yiliang He, Ariel Kushmaro, Karina Yew Hoong Gin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Effects of benzophenone-3 (BP-3) on the green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, and the cyanobacterium, Microcystis aeruginosa, were investigated. The tested organisms were exposed to environmental levels of BP-3 for 10 days, at nominal concentrations from 0.01 to 5000 μg L−1. Specific growth rate and photosynthetic pigments were employed to evaluate the toxic responses. The two tested algae had distinct toxic responses towards BP-3 stress, with the green alga C. reinhardtii being more sensitive than the cyanobacterium M. aeriginosa, based on EC20 and EC50 values. Uptake of BP-3 from the medium occurred in both species, with M. aeruginosa showing greater overall uptake (27.2–77.4%) compared to C. reinhardtii (1.1–58.4%). The effects of BP-3 on C. reinhardtii were variable at concentrations lower than 100 μg L−1. At higher concentrations, the specific growth rate of C. reinhardtii decreased following a reduction in chlorophyll a (chl-a) content. Further experiments showed that BP-3 regulated the growth of C. reinhardtii by affecting the production of chl-a, chlorophyll b and carotenoids. In M. aeruginosa, specific growth rate was only moderately affected by BP-3. Additionally, the production of chl-a was significantly inhibited over the different exposure concentrations, while the production of carotenoids was stimulated. These results indicate a potential detrimental effect on prokaryotes and eukaryotes and that the mechanism of action varies with species.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalAquatic Toxicology
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Benzophenone-3
  • Cyanobacteria
  • Green algae
  • Photosynthesis
  • Toxicity
  • Uptake

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aquatic Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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