, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 15–21 | Cite as

Interference of heavy metals on the photosynthetic response from a Cr(VI)-resistant Dictyosphaerium chlorelloides strain

  • A. D’ors
  • A. A. Cortés
  • A. Sánchez-Fortún
  • M. C. Bartolomé
  • S. Sánchez-Fortún


The successful selection of a particular type of bioelement and its association to the appropriate transducer determines the specificity of a biosensor. Therefore, from a strain of chloroficea Dictyosphaerium chlorelloides, modified in laboratory to tolerate high Cr(VI) concentrations, the possible interferences of other heavy metals on photosynthetic activity were studied. After exposing wild type and Cr(VI)-resistant cells to increasing Ag+1, Co+2, Hg+2, Cr+3, Cu+2, Zn+2, Fe+3 and Cd+2 concentrations, both photosynthetic quantum yields was compared. Photosynthetic electron transport rates were measured with a TOXY-PAM chlorophyll fluorometer, non-linear regression analysis of each of the toxicity tests was done, and means of both groups were compared using unpaired t test. The results show no significant differences between both cell types when they were exposed to Ag+1, Co+2, Hg+2, Cr+3, Cu+2, Fe+3 and Cd+2 metal ions, and extremely significant differences (p < 0.0001) to Zn+2 exposures. These results demonstrate the suitability of this Cr(VI)-resistant type D. chlorelloides strain as a suitable bioelement to be coupled to a biosensor based on dual-head microalgae strategy to detect and quantify Cr(VI) in water courses and waste water treatment plants. However, some disturbance may be expected, especially when certain analyte species such as zinc are present in water samples tested. The analysis of binary mixtures between Zn+2 and other heavy metals showed a slight antagonistic phenomenon in all cases, which should not alter the potential Zn+2 interference in the Cr+6 detection process.


Dyctiosphaerium chlorelloides Photosynthetic quantum yield Selective bioelement Cr(VI)-resistant strain Heavy metals interference 



This study has been supported by Spanish Government (CGL 2008-00652/BOS), the Madrid Community Government (S-505/AMB/0374), and the Mexican UMSNH University (PI 26.8). The technical support of Juan José Garcia and Lara de Miguel is kindly acknowledged.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Toxicology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Veterinary SciencesComplutense UniversityMadridSpain
  2. 2.School of Chemistry-PharmacologyMichoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo UniversityMoreliaMexico

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