, Volume 24, Issue 7–8, pp 1498–1507 | Cite as

Ecotoxicity of two organophosphate pesticides chlorpyrifos and dichlorvos on non-targeting cyanobacteria Microcystis wesenbergii

  • Kai-Feng Sun
  • Xiang-Rong XuEmail author
  • Shun-Shan Duan
  • You-Shao Wang
  • Hao Cheng
  • Zai-Wang Zhang
  • Guang-Jie Zhou
  • Yi-Guo Hong


Organophosphate pesticides (OPs), as a replacement for the organochlorine pesticides, are generally considered non-toxic to plants and algae. Chlorpyrifos and dichlorvos are two OPs used for pest control all over the world. In this study, the dose–response of cyanobacteria Microcystis wesenbergii on OPs exposure and the stimulating effect of OPs with and without phosphorus source were investigated. The results showed that high concentrations of chlorpyrifos and dichlorvos caused significant decrease of chlorophyll a content. The median inhibitory concentrations (EC50) of chlorpyrifos and dichlorvos at 96 h were 15.40 and 261.16 μmol L−1, respectively. Growth of M. wesenbergii under low concentration of OPs (ranged from 1/10,000 to 1/20 EC50), was increased by 35.85 % (chlorpyrifos) and 41.83 % (dichlorvos) at 120 h, respectively. Correspondingly, the highest enhancement on the maximum quantum yield (F v/F m) was 4.20 % (24 h) and 9.70 % (48 h), respectively. Chlorophyll fluorescence kinetics, known as O–J–I–P transients, showed significant enhancements in the O–J, J–I, and I–P transients under low concentrations of dichlorvos at 144 h, while enhancements of chlorophyll fluorescence kinetics induced by low concentrations of chlorpyrifos were only observed in the J–I transient at 144 h. Significant decreases of chlorophyll content, F v/F m and O–J–I–P transients with OPs as sole phosphorus source were found when they were compared with inorganic phosphate treatments. The results demonstrated an evidently hormetic dose–response of M. wesenbergii to both chlorpyrifos and dichlorvos, where high dose (far beyond environmental concentrations) exposure caused growth inhibition and low dose exposure induced enhancement on physiological processes. The stimulating effect of two OPs on growth of M. wesenbergii was negligible under phosphate limitation.


Chlorophyll fluorescence Hormesis Chlorpyrifos Dichlorvos M. wesenbergii 



This study was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21307140 and 51378488) and the Key Project of NSFC-Guangdong Joint Fund (No. U1133003).

Conflict of interest

We declare that we have no financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that can inappropriately influence our work, there is no professional or other personal interest of any nature or kind in any product, service and/or company that could be construed as influencing the position presented in, or the review of, the manuscript entitled, “Ecotoxicity of two organophosphate pesticides chlorpyrifos and dichlorvos on non-targeting cyanobacteria Microcystis wesenbergii”.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kai-Feng Sun
    • 1
  • Xiang-Rong Xu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shun-Shan Duan
    • 2
  • You-Shao Wang
    • 3
  • Hao Cheng
    • 3
  • Zai-Wang Zhang
    • 1
  • Guang-Jie Zhou
    • 1
  • Yi-Guo Hong
    • 3
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Tropical Marine Bio-resources and Ecology, South China Sea Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of EcologyJinan UniversityGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography, South China Sea Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina

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