Scientific article
Open access

Morphological plasticity in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and acclimation to micropollutant stress

Published inAquatic Toxicology, vol. 231, no. 105711
Publication date2021

Phytoplankton are characterized by a great phenotypic plasticity and amazing morphological variability, both playing a primary role in the acclimation to changing environments. However, there is a knowledge gap concerning the role of algal morphological plasticity in stress responses and acclimation to micropollutants. The present study aims at examining palmelloid colony formation of the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii upon micropollutants exposure. Cells were exposed to four micropollutants (MPs, copper, cadmium, PFOS and paraquat) with different modes of action for a duration of 72 h. Effects of MPs on palmelloid formation, growth and physiological traits (chlorophyll fluorescence, membrane integrity and oxidative stress) were monitored by flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy. Palmelloid formation was observed upon treatment with the four micropollutants. Number of palmelloid colonies and their size were dependent on MP concentration and exposure duration. Cells reverted to their unicellular lifestyle when colonies were harvested and inoculated in fresh medium indicating that palmelloid formation is a plastic response to micropollutants. No physiological effects of these compounds were observed in cells forming palmelloids. Palmelloid colonies accumulated lower Cd concentration than unicellular C. reinhardtii suggesting that colony formation protects the cells from MPs stress. The results show that colony formation in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a stress response strategy activated to face sub-lethal micropollutant concentrations.

  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
  • Palmelloid
  • Morphological plasticity
  • Stress responses
  • Acclimation
  • Cadmium
  • Copper
  • PFOS
  • Paraquat
Citation (ISO format)
CHELONI, Giulia, SLAVEYKOVA, Vera. Morphological plasticity in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and acclimation to micropollutant stress. In: Aquatic Toxicology, 2021, vol. 231, n° 105711. doi: 10.1016/j.aquatox.2020.105711
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0166-445X

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