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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(4), 795; doi:10.3390/ijms18040795

Influence of Speciation of Thorium on Toxic Effects to Green Algae Chlorella pyrenoidosa

School of Public Health, University of South China, Hengyang 421001, China
Key Laboratory for Biomedical Effects of Nanomaterials and Nanosafety, Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
School of Physical Sciences, University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Guido R. M. M. Haenen
Received: 6 March 2017 / Revised: 30 March 2017 / Accepted: 5 April 2017 / Published: 10 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Toxicology)
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Thorium (Th) is a natural radioactive element present in the environment and has the potential to be used as a nuclear fuel. Relatively little is known about the influence and toxicity of Th in the environment. In the present study, the toxicity of Th to the green algae Chlorella pyrenoidosa (C. pyrenoidosa) was evaluated by algal growth inhibition, biochemical assays and morphologic observations. In the cultural medium (OECD TG 201), Th(NO3)4 was transformed to amorphous precipitation of Th(OH)4 due to hydrolysis. Th was toxic to C. pyrenoidosa, with a 96 h half maximum effective concentration (EC50) of 10.4 μM. Scanning electron microscopy shows that Th-containing aggregates were attached onto the surface of the algal cells, and transmission electron microscopy indicates the internalization of nano-sized Th precipitates and ultrastructural alterations of the algal cells. The heteroagglomeration between Th(OH)4 precipitation and alga cells and enhanced oxidative stress might play important roles in the toxicity of Th. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the toxicity of Th to algae with its chemical species in the exposure medium. This finding provides useful information on understanding the fate and toxicity of Th in the aquatic environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: thorium; speciation; toxicity; green algae; Chlorella pyrenoidosa thorium; speciation; toxicity; green algae; Chlorella pyrenoidosa

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Peng, C.; Ma, Y.; Ding, Y.; He, X.; Zhang, P.; Lan, T.; Wang, D.; Zhang, Z.; Zhang, Z. Influence of Speciation of Thorium on Toxic Effects to Green Algae Chlorella pyrenoidosa. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 795.

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