Toxicity assessment of ZnO nanoparticles to freshwater microalgae Coelastrella terrestris
Commercial usage of ZnO nanoparticles has increased recently due to its versatile applications, raising serious environmental concern because of its ultimate release of nanoparticles in aquatic ecosystem. Therefore, it is important to understand the impact of ZnO nanoparticle toxicity especially on algal flora, which is the primary producer in the aquatic food chain. In the current study, algal growth kinetics was assessed after the exposure of zinc oxide nanoparticles and its bulk counterpart to Coelastrella terrestris (Chlorophyceae). Zinc oxide nanoparticles were found to be more toxic (y = 34.673x, R2 = − 0.101, 1 mg L−1 nanoparticle (NP)) than bulk (y = 50.635x, R2 = 0.173, 1 mg L−1 bulk) by entrapping the algal cell surface. Higher toxicity may be due to oxidative stress within the algal cell as confirmed through biochemical analysis. Biochemical parameters revealed stressful physiological condition in the alga under nanoparticle exposure, as lactate dehydrogenase release (18.89 ± 0.2 NP; 13.67 ± 0.2 bulk), lipid peroxidation (0.9147 ± 1.2 NP; 0.7480 ± 0.8 bulk), and catalase activity (4.77 ± 0.1 NP; 3.32 ± 0.1 bulk) were found higher at 1 mg L−1 in the case of nano-form. Surface adsorptions of nanoparticles were observed by SEM. Cell organelle damage, cell wall breakage, and cytoplasm shrinkage were found as responses under toxic condition through SEM and TEM. Toxicity was found to be influenced by dose concentration and exposure period. This study indicates that nano-form of ZnO is found to be more toxic than bulk form to freshwater alga.
KeywordsAlgae Stress Toxicological effects TEM Zinc oxide nanoparticles
Analysis of variance
Bovine serum albumin
Central drug house
Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide hydrogen
National Center for Biotechnology Information
Scanning electron microscopy
Transmission electron microscopy
We are thankful to the anonymous reviewers for the critical reading of the manuscript and improvement. We wish to acknowledge SAIF, New Delhi, for extending electron microscopy facilities. We are also thankful to Dr. Vinod Saharan, RCA, Udaipur, and Dr. Prabhat Baroliya, MLSU, Udaipur, for providing us DLS and FTIR facilities, respectively.
Pallavi Saxena received financial support from the University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi, India, in the form of BSR Meritorious Fellowship (F.25-a/2013-14(BSR)/7-125/2007(BSR)).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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