Acute and chronic toxicity of microcystin-LR and phenanthrene alone or in combination to the cladoceran (Daphnia magna)


Hazardous substances, such as microcystin-LR (MC-LR) and phenanthrene (Phe) are ubiquitous co-contaminants in eutrophic freshwaters, which cause harms to aquatic organisms. However, the risks associated with the co-exposure of aquatic biota to these two chemicals in the environment have received little attention. In this study, the single and mixture toxic effects of MC-LR and Phe mixtures were investigated in Daphnia magna after acute and chronic exposure. Acute tests showed that the median effective concentrations (48 h) for MC-LR, Phe and their mixtures were 13.46, 0.57 and 8.84 mg/L, respectively. Mixture toxicity prediction results indicated that the independent action model was more applicable than the concentration addition model. Moreover, combination index method suggested that the mixture toxicity was concentration dependent. Synergism was elicited at low concentrations of MC-LR and Phe exposure (≤4.04 + 0.17 mg/L), whereas antagonistic or additive effects were induced at higher concentrations. The involved mechanism of antagonism was presumably attributable to the protective effects of detoxification genes activated by high concentrations of MC-LR in mixtures. Additionally, chronic results also showed that exposure to a MC-LR and Phe mixture at low concentrations (≤50 +2 μg/L) resulted in greater toxic effects on D. magna life history than either chemical acting alone. The significant inhibition on detoxification genes and increased accumulation of MC-LR could be accounted for their synergistic toxic effects on D. magna. Our findings revealed the exacerbated ecological hazard of MC-LR and Phe at environmental concentrations (≤50 +2 μg/L), and provided new insights to the potential toxic mechanisms of MC-LR and Phe in aquatic animals.

Authors: Xiang Wan, Chen Cheng, Yurong Gu, Xiubo Shu, Liqiang Xie, Yanyan Zhao
; Full Source: Ecotoxicology and environmental safety 2021 Sep 1;220:112405. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.112405.