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Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 3029–3041 | Cite as

Interactive effects of temperature and copper toxicity on photosynthetic efficiency and metabolic plasticity in Scenedesmus quadricauda (Chlorophyceae)

  • Wai-Kuan Yong
  • Kae-Shin Sim
  • Sze-Wan Poong
  • Dong Wei
  • Siew-Moi Phang
  • Phaik-Eem LimEmail author
8th Asian Pacific Phycological Forum

Abstract

Warming and copper (Cu) toxicity are two key abiotic stressors that strongly affect cell growth, photosynthetic rate, and metabolism in microalgae. In this study, a freshwater chlorophyte, Scenedesmus quadricauda, was exposed to various concentrations of copper sulfate (300, 600, and 1000 μM nominal concentrations of CuSO4·5H2O) at 25 and 35 °C. The changes in cell density, photosynthetic parameters, in vivo absorption spectra, reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, and metabolic profile were analyzed. The effects of copper toxicity on the physiology and biochemistry of microalgae were highly dependent on water temperature. The interactive effects of both stressors induced significant impact on the photosynthetic parameters such as maximum quantum yield (Fv/Fm), saturation irradiance (Ek), and non-photochemical quenching (NPQ). Temperature induced significant impact on cell density, Ek and NPQ, while the Cu toxicity significantly affected the Fv/Fm and NPQ. Changes in the in vivo absorption spectra and high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were observed across different treatments. Overall, S. quadricauda adapted to the two abiotic stresses via NPQ and metabolic restructuring. Key metabolites including glycine, proline, hexadecanoic acid, propanoic acid, octadecanoic acid, galactose, lactose, and sucrose were involved in the microalgal response. The synergistic effects of temperature and Cu stresses on microalgae might affect community tolerance and species distribution in the long run.

Keywords

Temperature stress Copper toxicity Chlorophyceae Scenedesmus Photosynthesis Metabolomics 

Notes

Acknowledgements

It is partly supported by Prof. Dong Wei from the Science and Technology Program in Marine and Fishery of Guangdong (Grant No. A201401C01) and the Science and Technology Program of Guangdong (Grant No. 2015A020216003, 2016A010105001), P.R. China.

Funding information

Financial support from Ministry of Higher Education’s HICOE grant (IOES-2014H), Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FP048-2016), University of Malaya PPP Grant (PG267-2016A), and University of Malaya Research University Grants (RU009F-2015 and RU009H-2015).

Supplementary material

10811_2018_1574_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (219 kb)
Fig. S1 (PDF 219 kb)
10811_2018_1574_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (82 kb)
Table S1 (PDF 82 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wai-Kuan Yong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kae-Shin Sim
    • 3
  • Sze-Wan Poong
    • 1
  • Dong Wei
    • 4
  • Siew-Moi Phang
    • 1
    • 3
  • Phaik-Eem Lim
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Ocean and Earth SciencesUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.Institute of Graduate StudiesUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  3. 3.Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  4. 4.School of Food Sciences and EngineeringSouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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