International Journal of Thermophysics

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 762–773 | Cite as

Heavy Metals Effect on Cyanobacteria Synechocystis aquatilis Study Using Absorption, Fluorescence, Flow Cytometry, and Photothermal Measurements

  • A. DudkowiakEmail author
  • B. Olejarz
  • J. Łukasiewicz
  • J. Banaszek
  • J. Sikora
  • K. Wiktorowicz
Open Access


The toxic effect of six heavy metals on cyanobacteria Synechocystis aquatilis was studied by absorption, fluorescence, flow cytometry, and photothermal measurements. This study indicates that at the concentration used, the cyanobacteria are more sensitive to silver, copper, and mercury than to cadmium, lead, and zinc metals. Disregarding the decrease in the yields of the related radiative processes caused by photochemical processes and/or damage to phycobilisomes, no changes were detected in the efficiency of thermal deactivation processes within a few microseconds, which can indicate the lack of disturbances in the photosynthetic light reaction and the lack of damage to the photosystem caused by the heavy metal ions in the concentrations used. The results demonstrate that the relative values of fluorescence yield as well as promptly generated heat calculated for the metal-affected and unaffected (reference) bacteria are sensitive indicators of environmental pollution with heavy metal ions, whereas the complementary methods proposed could be used as a noninvasive and fast procedure for in vivo assessment of their toxicity.


Chlorophyll Cyanobacteria Heavy metal Optical and photothermal spectroscopy Synechocystis aquatilis 



This study was supported by Poznan University of Technology.

Open Access

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Dudkowiak
    • 1
    Email author
  • B. Olejarz
    • 1
  • J. Łukasiewicz
    • 1
  • J. Banaszek
    • 1
  • J. Sikora
    • 2
  • K. Wiktorowicz
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Technical PhysicsPoznan University of TechnologyPoznanPoland
  2. 2.Department of Biology and Environmental SciencesK. Marcinkowski University of Medical SciencesPoznanPoland

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