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Influence of light intensity on cadmium uptake and toxicity in the cyanobacteria Synechocystis sp. PCC6803

Du, Juan, Qiu, Baosheng, Pedrosa Gomes, Marcelo, Juneau, Philippe, Dai, Guozheng
Aquatic toxicology 2019 v.211 pp. 163-172
Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, cadmium, fluorescence, light intensity, photochemistry, photoperiod, photosystem I, photosystem II, toxicity
The mechanisms of cadmium toxicity to cyanobacterial photosynthesis have been extensively studied, but the response mechanisms to combinations of different cadmium concentrations and different light intensities are not yet well understood. The two principal objectives of the present work were to: 1) study the short term (5 h) toxic effects of cadmium on Synechocystis PCC6803 under three different culturing light intensity conditions; and, 2) investigate the effects of light history on Cd toxicity to Synechocystis. The maximal (ФM) and operational (Ф’M) photosystem II quantum yields, photosystem I quantum yield [Y (I)], cyclic electron flow, relative photochemical quenching (qPrel), relative non-photochemical quenching (qNrel), relative unquenched fluorescence (UQFrel), pigment contents, and cadmium uptake were evaluated when Synechocystis cells were treated with cadmium for 5 h under three different light conditions. We demonstrated that cadmium toxicity was enhanced with increasing growth light intensities due to increased cadmium uptake under higher light exposures, and the photoprotective mechanisms could not cope with cadmium and light stress under high light conditions. We also investigated Cd toxicity to Synechocystis adapted to three growth light intensities and subsequently shifted to different light intensity conditions to compare the effects of light regime shift on cadmium toxicity. We observed increased cadmium toxicity when the cells were transferred from low light to high light conditions. Interestingly, Synechocystis cells grown at high light intensities were more tolerant to cadmium than cells grown at low light intensities after the same light regime shift, due to the development of photoprotective mechanisms.