February 2015, vol. 4, special issue 2 (Biotechnology)
Patrycja Zagata, Marta Kopańska, Magdalena Greczek-Stachura, Tomasz Burnecki
Biotechnology of Biotechnology
Paramecium bursaria is an unicellular organism, widely distributed in the freshwater environment, where heavy metals are common contaminants. The ciliates, also including Paramecium bursaria, are a very abundant group in aquatic ecosystems, what makes them effective biological indicators of water pollutants. Paramecium bursaria is the only Paramecium which has evolved a mutualistic relationship with algae and it harbors these endosymbionts in its own cytoplasm. The algae are also very effective bioindicators of some pollutants because of their ability to biosorption and bioaccumulation of heavy metals. The aim of this study was to determine the acute toxicity of two metals’ compounds: nickel chloride (NiCl2) and zinc chloride (ZnCl2) to Paramecium bursaria and its endosymbionts. The ciliates were incubated in solutions with 5x10-8 to 5x10-2g/dm3 of NiCl2 and with 5x10-8 to 5x10-2g/dm3 of ZnCl2, at the temperature of 180C, in the light/dark conditions (12L/12D). Microscopic observations of cell divisions rate, cell shape changes as well as the swimming behavior, were conducted after 24, 48, 72 and 120 hours of incubation in the tested solutions and were compared to the control sample. Microscopic observations revealed the lethal doses for both compounds, for nickel chloride 5x10-5g/dm3 and for zinc chloride 5x10-3. These observations also revealed that in lesser concentrations than the lethal one, the slowdown and characteristic movements occur after metal addition. The PEA measurements of Fv/Fm parameter were carried out within 4 days, the first one after 24 hours of incubations. The results of this investigation has given us a view of a fluorescence efficiency by revealing that both compounds solutions can have the stimulating effect on Photosystem II, because the lowest fluorescence efficiency was measured in control samples.