The widespread occurrence of benzophenone-type ultraviolet (UV) filter has raised the public concerns over the ecotoxicological effects of these chemicals. The present study assessed the joint toxicity of two representative benzophenones, benzophenone-1 (BP-1) and benzophenone-3 (BP-3), on the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii using response surface methodologies (RSM). Specific growth rate and photosynthetic pigments were used as endpoints to evaluate the toxic effects. Generally, exposure to the combined BP-1 and BP-3 negatively affected cell growth and pigments production, with higher inhibitions at higher exposure concentrations. The simultaneous reduction in growth rate and pigments contents indicated that BP-1 and BP-3 regulated the growth of the tested alga by affecting the photosynthesis process. Results also showed that second order polynomial regression models fitted well with experimental results for all endpoints. The obtained regression models further indicated that the effects of the combination stemmed significantly from the linear concentration of BP-1 and BP-3. The overall results demonstrated that RSM could be a useful tool in ecotoxicological studies.
Keywords: Chlamydomonas reinhardtii; benzophenone-1; benzophenone-3; joint toxicity; response surface methodology.