Environmental biology

Phytoremediation potential of charophytes: Bioaccumulation and toxicity studies of cadmium, lead and zinc

Najjapak Sooksawat , Metha Meetam , Maleeya Kruatrachue , Prayad Pokethitiyook , Koravisd Nathalang


Received April 07, 2012,Revised June 04, 2012, Accepted , Available online March 08, 2013

Volume ,2013,Pages 596-604

The ability for usage of common freshwater charophytes, Chara aculeolata and Nitella opaca in removal of cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) from wastewater was examined. C. aculeolata and N. opaca were exposed to various concentrations of Cd (0.25 and 0.5 mg/L), Pb (5 and 10 mg/L) and Zn (5 and 10 mg/L) solutions under hydroponic conditions for 6 days. C. aculeolata was more tolerant of Cd and Pb than N. opaca. The relative growth rate of N. opaca was drastically reduced at high concentrations of Cd and Pb although both were tolerant of Zn. Both macroalgae showed a reduction in chloroplast, chlorophyll and carotenoid content after Cd and Pb exposure, while Zn exposure had little effects. The bioaccumulation of both Cd and Pb was higher in N. opaca (1544.3 μg/g at 0.5 mg/L Cd, 21657.0 μg/g at 10 mg/L Pb) whereas higher Zn accumulation was observed in C. aculeolata (6703.5 μg/g at 10 mg/L Zn). In addition, high bioconcentration factor values (> 1000) for Cd and Pb were observed in both species. C. aculeolata showed higher percentage of Cd and Pb removal (> 95%) than N. opaca and seemed to be a better choice for Cd and Pb removal from wastewater due to its tolerance to these metals.

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