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Algae Spirogyra sp. – biosensor of surface waters pollution with mercury

Małgorzata Rajfur ,  Andrzej Kłos ,  Maria Wacławek 

Opole University, Chair of Biotechnology and Molecular Biology (OU), ul. Kominka 4, Opole 45-032, Poland


In laboratory the parameters of mercury ions sorption from solutions of HgCl2 by the algae Spirogyra sp were investigated. Due to instability of the prepared mercury solutions  of concentrations at 0.07 μg Hg/dm3 level, the preparation procedure was developed which enabled control of changes in mercury concentrations in solution during the sorption process within ± 8%.

To describe equilibrium states the Langmuir isotherm model was used. It was found that algae absorbs mercury proportionally to its content in the solution, with which algae have been in contact.

In next steps several experiments to assess the compatibility of isotherm parameters with the parameters of equilibrium occurring in natural surface waters were performed. In this experiment the processed, lyophilised algae immersed for 30 min. in the studied waters were used. The concentrations of mercury in algae after the process of sorption and in water samples were determined and compared with each other. The determination of mercury in water samples was performed  in accordance with EN 1483:2007.

It was shown that algae Spirogyra sp. can be used for the biosensor of mercury pollution in surface water.

Mercury concentrations were determined using mercury analyzer AMA 254.


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Related papers

Presentation: Poster at SMCBS'2011 International Workshop, by Małgorzata Rajfur
See On-line Journal of SMCBS'2011 International Workshop

Submitted: 2011-08-26 13:05
Revised:   2011-08-26 13:05