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Environ Sci Technol. 2002 Aug 15;36(16):3550-5.

Kinetics and uptake mechanisms for monomethylmercury between freshwater algae and water.

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  • 1Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, University of Florida, Gainesville 32611, USA.

Erratum in

  • Environ Sci Technol.2003 Mar 1;37(5):1056.


Uptake kinetics of monomethylmercury chloride (MeHgCl) were measured for two species of green algae (Selenastrum capricomutum and Cosmarium botrytis), one blue-green algae (Schizothrix calcicola), and one diatom (Thalassiosira weissflogii), algal species that are commonly found in natural surface waters. Species differences were found with the two green algae giving the highest uptake rates, and one of them (Cosmarium) showing differences between cultures having widely different cell age (exponential versus stationary), where increases in uptake rate for cells 30 days old were about 25 times greater than cells only 3 days old when weights of cells were considered. Both Schizothrix and Thalassiosira exhibited nearly the same lower uptake rates, approximately 20 times lower than the two green algal species. Experiments with photosystem inhibitors, uncouplers, gamma-radiation, light deprivation, and extended range uptake all point to an active transport mechanism for MeHgCl.

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