, Volume 51, Issue 4, pp 565–573 | Cite as

Effect of chromate on photosynthesis in Cr(VI)-resistant Chlorella

  • S. N. Yewalkar
  • K. N. Dhumal
  • J. K. SainisEmail author
Original Papers


Chromate-resistant Chlorella spp. isolated from effluents of electroplating industry could grow in the presence of 30 μM K2Cr2O7. Since photosynthesis is sensitive to oxidative stress, chromate toxicity to photosynthesis was examined in this algal isolate. Chromate [Cr(VI)] up to 100 μM was found to stimulate photosynthesis, while 90% inhibition was found, when the cells were incubated with 1 mM Cr(VI) for 4 h. Photosystem (PS) II was inhibited by 80% and PSI by 40% after such Cr(VI) treatment. Thermoluminescence studies on cells treated with 1 mM Cr(VI) for 4 h showed that S2QA recombination peak (Q) was shifted to higher temperature, whereas S2/S3QB recombination peak (B) was shifted to lower temperature. These shifts indicated alga stress response in order to overcome an excitation stress resulting from the inhibition of photosynthesis by Cr(VI). The nontreated Chlorella cells kept in the dark showed periodicity of four for the Q peak (4–8°C) and B peak (34–38°C) after exposure to series of single, turnover, saturating flashes. This periodicity was lost in Cr(VI)-treated cells. Higher concentrations of Cr(VI) inhibited mainly the electron flow in the electron transport chain, inactivated oxygen evolving complex, and affected also Calvin cycle enzymes in the Cr(VI)-resistant isolates of Chlorella.

Additional key words

algae chromate-resistant photosynthesis thermoluminescence 







2′,7′-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate










photosystem I


photosystem II




reactive oxygen species




temperature maxima of the thermoluminescence peak


effective concentration for 50% survival


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of PunePuneIndia
  2. 2.Molecular Biology DivisionBhabha Atomic Research CenterMumbaiIndia

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