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Biomarkers of exposure in macroalgae Gracilaria domingensis exposed to cadmium and copper

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Tatiana Cristina Stefani Margarido
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Conjunto das Químicas (IQ e FCF) (CQ/DBDCQ)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Pio Colepicolo Neto; Nair Sumie Yokoya
Advisor: Pio Colepicolo Neto

In the last years great importance are being dedicated to the research of metals because of their environmental impact, persistence and the possibility of bioacummulation and biomagnification. The large amount of effluents produced by urban, industrial, agricultural and mining activities among others affect particularly the coastal areas. In this context, the algae which compose the basis of the foodweb, and have the capacity to stock metals decreasing their availability in the environment and therefore to other species inhabiting the area. Such characteristic make the algae a feasibly economic and ecological alternative to be used in bioremediation approaches. Macroalgae belonging to the genus Gracilaria, possess already an economical importance in the production of agar and, some of its metabolites are commonly used in the pharmaceutical industry. The organisms of this genus can also be an indicator of the metal presence in the environment and the effects caused by these compounds potential biomarkers. The objective of this project is to assess the effect of copper (Cu) and cadmium (Cd) on antioxidant or biotransformation enzymes in the algae Gracilaria domingensis and also the mechanisms of retention and detoxification of these metals. The description of these mechanisms can contribute to further use this macroalgae to bioremediation processes. Experiments established the IC50 of copper and cadmium in Gracilaria domingensis at 10.6 and 1.05 mg. L-1, respectively. Experiments using the copper\'s concentrations 5.3 and 10.6 mg. L-1 (½ IC50 and IC50) for 1, 24 and 48 h of were performed. Besides experiments with recovery groups, experiments using CONAMA 357/2005 concentration and experiment with different times of exposure (24, 48,72 and 96 hours) to understand better when phytochelatins starts to be produced and a profile of biomarkers The analysis of exposed algae to copper demonstrated an increased activity of glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and ascorbate peroxidase (APx). Interestingly, the catalase (CAT) activity was not detected even though in the presence of metal. Other experiments using concentration determined by CONAMA and IC50 was performed, as well experiments using recovery groups, and a temporal profile, to see the results for 24, 48, 72 e 96 hours of exposure. The analysis of phytochelatine, GSH and GSSG test were inconclusive and new conducted tests with CONAMA\'s and IC50 concentration showed significant alterations in the levels of GSSG e GSH for the samples exposed to copper, however, only the group treated with cadmium demonstrated detectable levels of phytochelatin. The species Gracilaria domingensis has been demonstrating the potential as a bioindicator organism and the biomarkers are producing promising results. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 12/00933-4 - Biochemical biomarkers in macroalgae of the genus Gracilaria exposed to metals
Grantee:Tatiana Cristina Stefani Margarido
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate