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Aquat Toxicol. 2007 Jun 5;83(1):24-32. Epub 2007 Mar 19.

Effect of nutrient availability on the uptake of PCB congener 2,2',6,6'-tetrachlorobiphenyl by a diatom (Stephanodiscus minutulus) and transfer to a zooplankton (Daphnia pulicaria).

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Department of Biology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0225, United States.


The objective of this study was to examine the importance of nutrient status of a diatom (Stephanodiscus minutulus) to the uptake of PCB congener #54 (2,2',6,6'-tetrachlorobiphenyl) and the subsequent transfer of PCB to a pelagic grazing zooplankton (Daphnia pulicaria). The algae, which were grown under different nutrient treatments, were then fed to a zooplankton to examine the subsequent food chain transfer of PCB. Algal cultures were grown for at least 2 weeks in a steady state condition in (1) non-limiting, (2) low-Si, (3) low-N or (4) low-P media. Steady state algal cultures were dosed with 0.2 microg L(-1) PCB and were sampled for PCB uptake after 24h. D. pulicaria were allowed to graze on these same cultures for 48 h before being analyzed for PCB body burdens. Low-Si (68% or 0.135 microg L(-1) of PCB) and low-P cultures (62%) had significantly higher percentage uptake of total PCB than the non-limiting (55%) or low-N (52%) treatments. When these values were divided by biochemical or elemental parameters, PCB per lipids (microg microg(-1)) had one of the lowest coefficients of variation (CV) across the four treatments, indicating their importance in PCB uptake. When equal biovolumes of the four different treatment cultures were fed to zooplankton, both the low-N (13.9 ng PCB mg wet weight(-1)) and the low-P (9.6 ng PCB mg wet weight(-1)) grazing D. pulicaria had significantly higher PCB per wet weight than the low-Si (5.6 ng PCB mg wet weight(-1)) and non-limited (2.6 ng PCB mg wet weight(-1)) grazing D. pulicaria. There were no significant differences between algal nutrient treatments in PCB per wet weight of zooplankton grazing on clean algal food in PCB contaminated media. This study indicates that uptake of PCB by phytoplankton can be significantly altered by nutrient availability which subsequently affects transfer to zooplankton, potentially through such responses as grazing rate and lipid assimilation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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