Biology of Metals

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 229–234

Effect of four heavy metals on the biology of Nostoc muscorum

  • L. C. Rai
  • M. Raizada
  • N. Mallick
  • Yashmin Husaini
  • A. K. Singh
  • S. K. Dubey
Original Articles

Summary

This study presents the effects of Cr, Pb, Ni and Ag on growth, pigments, protein, DNA, RNA, heterocyst frequency, uptake of NH4+ and N03, loss of electrolytes (Na+ and K+), nitrate reductase and glutamine synthetase activities ofNostoc muscorum. The statistical tests revealed a direct positive correlation between the metal concentration and inhibition of different processes. Ni was found to be more toxic against growth, pigments and heterocyst differentiation compared to the other metals. Inhibition of pigment showed the following trend: chlorophyll > phycocyanin > carotenoid. No generalized trend for inhibition of macromolecules was observed. The loss of K+ and Na+ as affected by Cr, Ni and Pb was similar but more pronounced for K+ than Na+. The inhibition of physiological variables depicted the following trend: Na+ loss > K+ loss > glutamine synthetase > NH4 uptake > growth > N03 uptake > nitrate reductase > heterocyst frequency. This study therefore suggests that loss of electrolytes can be used as a first signal of metal toxicity in cyanobacteria. However, further study is needed to confirm whether the abnormality induced by nickel (branch formation) is a physiological or genetic phenomenon.

Key words

Heavy metals Efflux of Na+ and K+ Nostoc muscorum 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. C. Rai
    • 1
  • M. Raizada
    • 1
  • N. Mallick
    • 1
  • Yashmin Husaini
    • 1
  • A. K. Singh
    • 1
  • S. K. Dubey
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Algal Biology, Centre of Advanced Study in BotanyBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia

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