Bio-assessment and remediation of arsenic (arsenite As-III) in water by Euglena gracilis
Arsenic (As) is a serious pollutant of water bodies. Its presence in water can cause severe health problems in humans and may also induce serious toxicological effects in aquatic organisms. Euglena gracilis, a unicellular freshwater flagellate, is considered very sensitive to environmental pollutants. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the responses of different parameters in E. gracilis toward arsenite (As-III) toxicity and to assess As-III removal potential of E. gracilis from water by calculating bio-concentration factor (BCF). Under the optimized experimental conditions (0.1 to 10 mg L−1 of As-III, (pH 6.8) 7-day exposure), various parameters of E. gracilis like cell growth, motility, cell velocity (speed), cell shape, gravitactic orientation, biochemical parameters, and oxidative-stress markers were measured as endpoints. The experimental results showed that cell growth and photosynthetic pigments (chlorophyll a, b, and total carotenoids) were significantly affected at higher concentrations of As-III, while slight stimulation was observed in motility, orientation, and cell compactness of E. gracilis. Similarly, an increase was observed in total soluble protein and sugar content which can be regarded as a protective strategy in response of As-III stress. The adverse effects of As-III in E. gracilis can be attributed to oxidative stress as revealed by the results for oxidative markers. E. gracilis removed 13.3% of As-III from the medium with a calculated 0.27 mg As-III g−1 DW of E. gracilis. The calculated BCF, an index of the potential of accumulating metal/metalloids, in this study was 27 showing E. gracilis as accumulator but not hyper-accumulator of As-III. It is concluded that cell growth and photosynthetic pigments in E. gracilis were adversely affected by As-III and can be used as indicators of the adverse effects of As-III to aquatic autotrophs. E. gracilis can be recommended as accumulator (but not hyper-accumulator) for removal of As-III from water.
KeywordsArsenic Bio-assessment Bioremediation Antioxidants Cell growth Photosynthetic pigments
We are thankful to all supporting staff at the Department of Botany, KUST.
The study was supported by the International Foundation for Science through grant W-5701-1.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
Authors declare no conflict of interest. The work was a part of M. Phil thesis of Sidra Tahira submitted to Kohat University of Science and Technology, Kohat.
- Ahmed H (2010) Biomonitoring of Aquatic Ecosystems, Ph.D dissertation, Friedrich-Alexander University, Erlangen-Nürenberg, Germany.Google Scholar
- Bo JBL (2003) Heritage protection in UNESCO: actions and meanings. UNESCO, RomeGoogle Scholar
- Cervantes-Garcia D, Gonzalez-Mendoza D, Grimaldo-Juarez O, Aviles-Marin S (2011) Changes on proline, phenolics compounds and antioxidants status in Euglena gracilis exposed to copper. African J Microbiol Res 5:5127–5131Google Scholar
- Chesters G, Schierow LJ (1985) A primer on nonpoint pollution. J Soil Water Conservation 40:9–13Google Scholar
- Gajdosova J, Reichrtova E (1996) Different growth response of Euglena gracilis to Hg, Cd, Cr and Ni compounds. Fresenius J Anal Chem 354:641–642Google Scholar
- Gruenberger C, Ritter R, Aumayr F, Stachelberger H, Gebeshuber IC (1967) Biophysics of green algae: Euglena gracilis investigated by atomic force microscopyGoogle Scholar
- Halter D, Casiot C, Heipieper HJ, Plewniak F, Marchal M, Simon S, Arsène-Ploetze F, Bertin PN (2012) Surface properties and intracellular speciation revealed an original adaptive mechanism to arsenic in the acid mine drainage bio-indicator Euglena mutabilis. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 93:1735–1744CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Jabeen G, Javed M, Azmat H (2011) Assessment of heavy metals in the fish collected from the river Ravi, Pakistan. Pak Vetirnary J 32:107–111Google Scholar
- Khan N (2004) Tap water contamination seminar DAWN, 16.3.2004, p 11Google Scholar
- Lebert M, Häder D-P (1999) Aquarack: long-term growth facility for 'professional' gravisensing cells. In: Proceedings of the 2nd European Symposium on the Utilisation of the International Space Station, ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands. 16-18 November 1998 (ESA-SP 433), 533-537 ppGoogle Scholar
- Mishra S, Srivastava S, Tripathi RD, Govindarajan R, Kuriakose SV, Prasad MNV (2006) Phytochelatin synthesis and response of antioxidants during cadmium stress in Bacopa monnieri L. Plant Physiol Biochem 44:25–37Google Scholar
- Morin S, Duong TT, Dabrin A, Coynel A, Herlory O, Baudrimont M, Delmas F, Durrieu G, Schaefer J, Winterton P (2008) Long-term survey of heavy-metal pollution, biofilm contamination and diatom community structure in the Riou Mort watershed, South-West France. Environ Pollut 151:532–542CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Rai LC, Gaur JP, Soeder CJ (1994) Algae and water pollution. Schweizerbart,Google Scholar
- Rauf A, Javed M (2007) Copper-toxicity to water and plankton in the river Ravi, Pakistan. Int J Agric Biol 9:775–778Google Scholar
- Vinodhini R, Narayanan M (2008) Bioaccumulation of heavy metals in organs of fresh water fish Cyprinus carpio (Common carp). Int J Env Sci Technol 5(2):179–182Google Scholar
- Yagi K (1982) Assay for serum lipid peroxide level and its clinical significance. In: Yagi K (ed) Lipid Peroxides in biology and medicine 223:242, Academic Press, NY pp 223–242Google Scholar
- Yamanaka K, Mizoi M, Kato K, Hasegawa A, Nakano M, Okada S (2001) Oral administration of dimethylarsinic acid, a main metabolite of inorganic arsenic, in mice promotes skin tumorigenesis initiated by dimethylbenz (a) anthracene with or without ultraviolet B as a promoter. Biol Pharm Bull 24:510–514CrossRefGoogle Scholar