, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 229–234 | Cite as

Inhibition of growth and photosynthesis of selected green microalgae as tools to evaluate toxicity of dodecylethyldimethyl-ammonium bromide

  • S. Sánchez-FortúnEmail author
  • F. Marvá
  • A. D’ors
  • E. Costas


The effect of dodecylethyldimethyl-ammonium bromide (DEAB), a quaternary ammonium, compound widely used as disinfectant, on phytoplankton of inland water systems was analysed by using an experimental model. A toxicity test was based on inhibition of photosynthesis performances (effective quantum yield from photosystem II, ΦPSII and O2 production) of the phytoplanktonic species Scenedesmus intermedius and Dictiosphaerium chlorelloides (Chlorophyceae) under growing doses of DEAB. A concentration-dependent toxic response was obtained in both parameters analysed. In addition, this response was almost immediate. Consequently, the measurement of both parameters (ΦPSII and O2 production) allows to assess DEAB toxicity with higher standards of precision and repeatability. We propose that this procedure could be used to detect presence of quaternary ammonium pollutants in freshwater.


Toxicity Scenedesmus intermedius Dictyosphaerium chlorelloides Dodecylethyldimethyl-ammonium bromide Photosynthesis performance Disinfectants 



This work was supported by grants CM-S-505/AMB/0374 CAM; CGL 2005-01938/BOS, CGL 2004-02701-HID.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Sánchez-Fortún
    • 1
    Email author
  • F. Marvá
    • 2
  • A. D’ors
    • 1
  • E. Costas
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Toxicology and Pharmacology, School of Veterinary SciencesComplutense UniversityMadridSpain
  2. 2.Department of Genetics, School of Veterinary SciencesComplutense UniversityMadridSpain

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