Growth assays with mixed cultures of cyanobacteria and algae assessed by in vivo fluorescence: One step closer to real ecosystems?

Chemosphere. 2008 Feb;70(10):1873-8. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2007.07.073. Epub 2007 Sep 12.


A growth toxicity assay with mixed cultures of cyanobacteria and algae using in vivo fluorescence is presented. Test organisms (the green alga Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata and the cyanobacterium Aphanothece clathrata) growing alone and in a mixture were exposed to selected chemicals. P. subcapitata featured a higher sensitivity to toxicants in the presence of A. clathrata compared to the single species assay. On the other hand, growth of a cyanobacterium was not affected by the presence or absence of the green alga. The proposed method seems to be suitable for pre-screening studies of toxicants (algistatic agents, herbicides) applied into the aquatic environment and for the assessment of their impact on natural phytoplankton communities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aluminum Hydroxide / toxicity
  • Chlorophyll / analysis
  • Chlorophyll A
  • Chlorophyta / drug effects
  • Chlorophyta / growth & development*
  • Copper Sulfate / toxicity
  • Cyanobacteria / drug effects
  • Cyanobacteria / growth & development*
  • Ecosystem
  • Fluorescence
  • Herbicides / toxicity
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / toxicity
  • Toxicity Tests / methods*


  • Herbicides
  • aluminum oxychloride
  • Chlorophyll
  • Aluminum Hydroxide
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Copper Sulfate
  • Chlorophyll A