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Evaluation of the Removal of Potassium Cyanide and its Toxicity in Green Algae (Chlorella vulgaris)

Liu, Qingqing, Zhang, Guangsheng, Ding, Jiannan, Zou, Hua, Shi, Hongxing, Huang, Chaoqun
Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology 2018 v.100 no.2 pp. 228-233
Chlorella vulgaris, algae, antioxidant activity, aquatic ecosystems, cell membranes, chlorophyll, malondialdehyde, potassium cyanide, superoxide dismutase, toxicity
To evaluate the removal of potassium cyanide (KCN) and its toxicity in algae, an initial comprehensive analysis was performed with Chlorella vulgaris. The algae showed potential removal capability for KCN, with the maximal removal rate of 61%. Moreover, effects of KCN on growth, cellular morphology and antioxidant defense system of C. vulgaris were evaluated. Cell number and chlorophyll a content decreased in most cases, with the maximal inhibition rates of 48% and 99%, respectively. The 100 mg L⁻ ¹ KCN seriously damaged the algal cell membrane. Additionally, activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) was promoted by KCN exposure among 0.1–50 mg L⁻ ¹ and inhibited by 100 mg L⁻ ¹ KCN, while the malondialdehyde (MDA) content gradually decreased in C. vulgaris with increasing exposure concentration compared to the control. The present study reveals that C. vulgaris is useful in bio-treatment of cyanide-contaminated aquatic ecosystem, except in high concentrations which would cause overwhelming effects.