Effect of cadmium accumulation on green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and acid-tolerant Chlamydomonas CPCC 121

Mahshid Samadani, Francois Perreault, Abdallah Oukarroum, David Dewez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Cadmium is one of the most dangerous metals found in wastewater since exposure to low concentrations are highly toxic for cellular functions. In this study, the effect of cadmium accumulation on Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and acid-tolerant strain CPCC 121 was investigated during 48 h under 100–600 μM of Cd and two pH conditions (4 and 7). The toxicity of accumulated Cd was determined by the change of cellular and photosynthetic parameters. Obtained results showed that the maximum capacity of Cd accumulation in algal biomass was reached for both strains at 24 h of exposure to 600 μM of Cd. Under this condition, C. reinhardtii showed a higher uptake of Cd compared to the strain CPCC 121, inducing a stronger cellular toxic impact. Chlamydomonas CPCC 121 showed a tolerance for Cd due to the exclusion of Cd at the cell wall surface, which was higher at pH 4 than pH 7. TEM images and EDX spectrum of Cd distribution within the cell confirmed the role of the cell wall as a barrier for Cd uptake. Although Cd2+ concentration was the highest in the medium, CPCC 121 was the most tolerant at pH 4, but was not enough efficient to be considered for the phycoremediation of Cd. At neutral pH, the efficiency of C. reinhardtii for the removal of Cd was limited by its toxicity, which was dependent to the concentration of Cd in the medium and the time of exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-182
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • Cadmium accumulation
  • Chlamydomonas CPCC 121
  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
  • Green algae
  • Tolerance
  • Toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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