Sensitivity of bacterial vs. acute Daphnia magna toxicity tests to metals
The objectives of this study were to evaluate the sensitivity of two bacterial tests commonly used in metal toxicity screening — the Vibrio fischeri bioluminescence inhibition test and the Pseudomonas putida growth inhibition test — in comparison to the standard acute Daphnia magna test, and to estimate applicability of the selected methods to the toxicity testing of environmental samples. The D. magna acute test proved to be more sensitive to cadmium (Cd), zinc (Zn) and manganese (Mn) than the two bacterial assays, whereas P. putida seems to be the most sensitive species to lead (Pb). Manganese appears to be slightly toxic to D. magna and non-toxic to the two selected bacteria. This leads to the conclusion that even in regions with high background concentrations, manganese would not act as a confounding factor. Low sensitivity of V. fischeri to heavy metals questions its applicability as the first screening method in assessing various environmental samples. Therefore, it is not advisable to replace D. magna with bacterial species for metal screening tests. P. putida, V. fischeri and/or other bacterial tests should rather be applied in a complex battery of ecotoxicological tests, as their tolerance to heavy metals can unravel other potentially present toxic substances and mixtures, undetectable by metal-sensitive species.
KeywordsToxicity tests Ecotoxicity Heavy metals Daphnia magna Vibrio fischeri Pseudomonas putida
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