The Use of Stimulable Bioluminescence From Dinoflagellates as a Means of Detecting Toxicity in the Marine Environment
NAVAL COMMAND CONTROL AND OCEAN SURVEILLANCE CENTER RDT AND E DIV SAN DIEGO CA
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Phytoplankton bioassays have been used as biological tools in assessing environmental contamination. In our laboratory, a simple bioassay has been developed which measures the light output from bioluminescence dinoflagellates for assessment of toxic effects when exposed to a single toxicant or mixture. Successful use of this type of bioassay has provided data on the acute response and has demonstrated the chronic effects, from hours up to 11 days, on dinoflagellate cells of Pyrocystis lunula and Gonyaulax polyedra upon exposure to several metals and storm drain effluent. Dinoflagellate cells were exposed to various concentrations of tributyltin chloride TBTCI, copper 11 sulfate CUS04, zinc sulfate ZnSO4, or storm drain effluent. Stimulable bioluminescence was measured at each test period 3 or 4 h, 24 h, 48 h, 72 h, etc. following setup for all assays. Cells were kept in the dark for 3 or 4 h prior to testing. Stirring the cells within the chamber stimulated maximum bioluminescence from the dinoflagellates. An IC50 an estimated concentration that is likely to cause a 50 reduction in light output was estimated for all assays. The trend of light reduction as a response to increasing dose level of test article was observed in all assays. A reduction in light output was measured from cells exposed to 1.6, 4.2, and 12.8 ugL TBTCI. The IC50 decreased from 8.5 ugL at 120 h to 3.0 ugL at 264 h. The cells exposed to 6.25, 12.5, and 25.0 storm drain effluent exhibited a statistically significant P0.05 reduction in light output in as little as 3 h exposure.
- Biological Oceanography
- Water Pollution and Control