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Identification of a green algal strain collected from the Sarno River Mouth (Gulf of Naples, Italy) and its exploitation for heavy metal remediation
Barra, L.; Sardo, A.; Caballero, M.M.; Smerilli, A.; Chiaiese, P.; Percopo, I.; Cavalletti, E.; Castro-Hinojosa, C.; Balzano, S. (2022). Identification of a green algal strain collected from the Sarno River Mouth (Gulf of Naples, Italy) and its exploitation for heavy metal remediation. Microorganisms 10(12): 2445. https://dx.doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10122445
In: Microorganisms. MDPI: Basel. ISSN 2076-2607, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    heavy metals; bioremediation; microalgae; isolation; taxonomical identification; growth rate reduction; heavy metal accumulation

Auteurs  Top 
  • Barra, L.
  • Sardo, A.
  • Caballero, M.M.
  • Smerilli, A.
  • Chiaiese, P.
  • Percopo, I.
  • Cavalletti, E.
  • Castro-Hinojosa, C.
  • Balzano, S., meer

Abstract
    Heavy metals (HMs) can induce both chronic and acute harmful effects on marine and freshwater biota. The environmental impact of HMs in freshwater, seawater, soil, and wastewater can be limited using microbes, including microalgae, that are able to remove metals from environmental matrices. Indeed, they can passively adsorb and actively accumulate these persistent pollutants within their organelles, limiting their detrimental effects on cellular metabolism. The Sarno River is a 30 km long freshwater stream located in Southern Italy, polluted by partially untreated municipal, agricultural, and industrial wastewaters. In spite of this, microalgal cultures from Sarno River or Sarno River Mouth have never been established. In the present study, we isolated a green algal strain from the Sarno River Mouth and determined its ability to grow in polluted seawater containing different concentrations of cadmium, lead, or zinc. This strain was found to be able to accumulate these elements within its biomass in a dose-dependent manner. Growth inhibition experiments confirm the relatively low toxicity of Cd and Pb below 50 µM, while algal growth was seriously affected in Zn-amended media. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study focused on the ability of microalgae from Sarno River Mouth to tolerate and uptake HMs.

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