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Species-specific isotope tracers to study the accumulation and biotransformation of mixtures of inorganic and methyl mercury by the microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Bravo Andrea Garcia, Le Faucheur Séverine, Monperrus Mathilde, Amouroux David, Slaveykova Vera I,
Project Mercury threat in industrially impacted surface water bodies in Romania - integrated approach (MERCURO)
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987)
Volume (Issue) 192
Page(s) 212 - 5
Title of proceedings Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987)
DOI 10.1016/j.envpol.2014.05.013


The present study demonstrates that species-specific isotope tracing is an useful tool to precisely measure Hg accumulation and transformations capabilities of living organisms at concentrations naturally encountered in the environment. To that end, a phytoplanktonic green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Dangeard (Chlamydomonadales, Chlorophyceae) was exposed to mixtures of (199)-isotopically enriched inorganic mercury ((199)IHg) and of (201)-isotopically enriched monomethylmercury ((201)CH3Hg) at a concentration range between less than 1 pM to 4 nM. Additionally, one exposure concentration of both mercury species was also studied separately to evaluate possible interactive effects. No difference in the intracellular contents was observed for algae exposed to (199)IHg and (201)CH3Hg alone or in their mixture, suggesting similar accumulation capacity for both species at the studied concentrations. Demethylation of (201)CH3Hg was observed at the highest exposure concentrations, whereas no methylation was detected.