The toxic mechanisms of BDE-47 to the marine diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana-a study based on multiple physiological processes. Academic Article uri icon


  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), a series of highly persistent organic pollutants (POPs), are ubiquitous in marine ecosystems. As key primary producers, microalgae are of great importance on evaluating the environmental outcome of PBDEs pollution. In this study, the toxic mechanisms of BDE-47 on the marine diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana were evaluated by measuring multiple physiological processes. Three concentrations of BDE-47 (25, 15 and 5gL-1) were used along with two controls (blank: no BDE-47 or DMSO; negative control: only DMSO). Experiments lasted 144h (6 days), in which the actual BDE-47 concentrations, cell densities, nutrient (nitrate and phosphate) uptake, pigment compositions, photosynthetic physiology, cell morphology and cellular contents (organic carbon and nitrogen) were measured at 12-48h intervals. The toxic mechanisms of BDE-47 on T. pseudonana cells were evaluated by measuring multiple physiological processes including photosynthesis, nutrient uptake, cellular material synthesis and cell cycle progressions. The cell divisions of T. pseudonana were severely inhibited by the stress of BDE-47, but the photosynthetic parameters were much less declined and recovered earlier than the cell divisions in the same BDE-47 treatments. The unsuppressed uptake rates of nutrients, increased cell volume and cellular contents indicated the cellular material synthesis proceeded normally. Finally, we found that the cell cycle was arrested in G2/M phase under the stress of BDE-47, we thus concluded that the inhibition of cell divisions by BDE-47 was not due to the lack of energy or cellular materials, where the cell cycle arrest happened; this might be the most important toxicological outcome.

published proceedings

  • Aquat Toxicol

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhao, Y., Tang, X., Quigg, A., Lv, M., & Zhao, Y.

citation count

  • 14

complete list of authors

  • Zhao, Yirong||Tang, Xuexi||Quigg, Antonietta||Lv, Mengchen||Zhao, Yan

publication date

  • January 2019