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Effects of garlic and diallyl trisulfide on the growth, photosynthesis, and alkaline phosphatase activity of the toxic cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa


To identify a botanical algicide and elucidate the response of cyanobacteria to the extract from higher plants, the effects of garlic and garlic-derived diallyl trisulfide on Microcystis aeruginosa were studied. Effects were evaluated by changes in cell density, chlorophyll a, maximum effective quantum yield (Fv/Fm), effective quantum yield (YII), non-photochemical quenching (NPQ), and rapid light curves of M. aeruginosa. In addition, alkaline phosphatase activity (APA) was measured when M. aeruginosa was incubated with diallyl trisulfide. Results indicated that the inhibition by garlic and diallyl trisulfide was significant. The 120-h 50 % effective concentrations of garlic and diallyl trisulfide (EC50) were 0.75 g L−1 and 2.84 mg L−1, respectively. Moreover, the inhibitory rate increased with increasing concentration and the growth of M. aeruginosa was inhibited by 90.0 % at the highest concentrations. We also show that the response of M. aeruginosa to stress could involve both impairment of the photosynthetic center PSII and alteration of APA. For example, at high garlic concentration (2.0 g L−1), Fv/Fm significantly decreased from 0.501 to 0.084 (p < 0.05) after 120 h of exposure. Furthermore, the total APA was significantly decreased by exposure to a high diallyl trisulfide concentration after 24 h exposure. As new algal inhibitors, there are several advantages for their utilization, such as being common, cheap, non-toxic, and with high efficiency. It would be meaningful to further research on garlic as an environmentally friendly algicide.

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This research was supported by funding from the National Science and Technology Major Project for Water Pollution Control and Treatment (2012ZX07102-004). We also thank anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments.

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Correspondence to Shoubing Wang.

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Responsible editor: Robert Duran

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Wang, S., Wang, Y., Ma, X. et al. Effects of garlic and diallyl trisulfide on the growth, photosynthesis, and alkaline phosphatase activity of the toxic cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa . Environ Sci Pollut Res 23, 5712–5720 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-015-5809-4

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  • Garlic
  • Microcystis aeruginosa
  • Growth
  • Chlorophyll a fluorescence
  • Alkaline phosphatase activity