The global pollution of microplastics (MPs) has attracted wide attention, and many studies have been conducted on the effects of MP qualities or types and particle sizes on aquatic organisms. However, few studies on the impact of polyethylene terephthalate microplastic (mPET) with different colors on phytoplankton in aquatic ecosystems have been carried out. In this study, mPET of three common colors (green, black, and white) in different concentrations (0, 10, 50, 100, and 200 mg/L) were selected to explore effects on a bloom-forming cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa
. The growth, photosynthesis, the number and size of colony, and MC-LR production of M. aeruginosa
were studied within a 25-days exposure experiment. The results showed that colors of mPET had significant effects on the growth and photosynthesis of this species but the concentration of mPET had no significant effect. The low concentration of green mPET group promoted algal growth, photosynthesis, and the M. aeruginosa
exposed to it was easier to agglomerate into colonies. Moreover, both mPET colors and concentrations have a significant impact on the microcystin production of M. aeruginosa
. The low concentration of the green mPET group significantly inhibited the production throughout the experiment, while the white and black mPET significantly increased the concentration of extracellular microcystin (MC-LR). Our results provided new insights into the effects of MPs with different colors and concentrations on the growth and physiology of cyanobacteria and provide basic data for the ecological risk assessment and pollution prevention of MPs.
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