Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 3043–3055 | Cite as

Combined effects of glufosinate ammonium and temperature on the growth, photosynthetic pigment content and oxidative stress response of Chlorella sp. and Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata

  • Bann-Siang Yeo
  • Wan-Loy Chu
  • Chiew-Yen WongEmail author
  • Yih-Yih Kok
  • Siew-Moi Phang
  • Boon-Keat Tan
  • Emienour Muzalina Mustafa
8th Asian Pacific Phycological Forum


There has been concern over the potential adverse effects of glufosinate ammonium, a widely used herbicide, on microalgae. This study aimed to assess the combined effects of glufosinate and temperature on Chlorella sp. CHSS262, which was isolated from a farmland in Malaysia, in comparison with the model microalga Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata. The following parameters were assessed: growth, pigment content and oxidative stress response. Results showed that Chlorella sp. (EC25 = 120 μg mL−1) was more tolerant to glufosinate than P. subcapitata (EC25 = 43 μg mL−1) when grown at 28 °C. Both microalgae were then exposed to glufosinate at EC25 at different temperatures (10, 18, 28, 33 and 38 °C) for 8 days. While P. subcapitata could grow from 10 to 38 °C, with optimal temperature between 18 and 28 °C, the lower temperature limit of Chlorella sp. was 18 °C. There was only minimal growth inhibitory effect of glufosinate on Chlorella sp. over the range of temperatures tested. In comparison, the inhibitory effect of glufosinate on P. subcapitata was less pronounced at extreme temperatures (10 and 38 °C) compared to that at 18 to 33 °C. High ROS levels and increased lipid peroxidation were detected in P. subcapitata at 10 and 38 °C in both the control and glufosinate-treated cultures. Principal component analysis (PCA) showed that there was significant correlation between ROS and lipid peroxidation in P. subcapitata but not in Chlorella sp. Overall, the results showed that Chlorella sp. and P. subcapitata responded differently to temperature and glufosinate, especially in regard to oxidative stress response although both species were highly resistant to the herbicide.


Glufosinate ammonium Temperature Herbicides Chlorella Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata 


Funding information

The funding support from the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), Malaysia, under the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS/1/2016/STG03/IMU/03/2) is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Postgraduate StudiesInternational Medical UniversityKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.School of Health SciencesInternational Medical UniversityKuala LumpurMalaysia
  3. 3.Institute of Ocean and Earth ScienceUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  4. 4.School of Fisheries and Aquaculture SciencesUniversiti Malaysia TerengganuKuala TerengganuMalaysia

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