Copper exclusion as a mechanism of heavy metal tolerance in a green alga

Abstract

ORGANISMS isolated from environments polluted by heavy metals are often tolerant of those metals1–5. Tolerance is usually accompanied by metal uptake equal to or greater than that of non-tolerant organisms2,6–10; the accumulated metals seem to be chemically detoxified and/or physically sequestered to render them inactive2,6,7,11–13. Because heavy metal tolerant algae10, plants2, yeast7 and invertebrates8,10 have been found not to restrict metal uptake, metal exclusion has been considered a rare mechanism of tolerance6. I report here, however, that a copper-tolerant strain of the common unicellular green alga Chlorella vulgaris excludes copper.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Bradshaw, A. D. Nature 169, 1098 (1952).

  2. 2

    Antonovics, J., Bradshaw, A. D. & Turner, R. G. Adv. ecol. Res. 7, 1–85 (1971).

  3. 3

    Russel, G. & Morris, O. P. Nature 228, 288–289 (1970).

  4. 4

    Stokes, P. M., Hutchinson, T. C. & Krauter, K. Can. J. Bot. 51, 2155–2168 (1973).

  5. 5

    Harding, J. P. C. & Whitton, B. A. Br. phycol. J. 11, 417–426 (1976).

  6. 6

    Turner, R. G. in Ecological Aspects of Mineral Nutrition of Plants (ed. Rorison, I. H.) Br. ecol. Soc. Symp. 9, 399–410 (Blackwell, Oxford, 1969).

  7. 7

    Ashida, J. A. Rev. Phytopath. 3, 153–174 (1965).

  8. 8

    Bryan, G. W. & Hummerstone, L. G. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 51, 845–863 (1971); 53, 839–857, 859–872 (1973).

  9. 9

    Hutchinson, T. C. & Stokes, P. M. in Water Quality Parameters, ASTM STP 573, 320–343 (Am. Soc. for Testing and Materials, 1975).

  10. 10

    Brown, B. E. Water Res. 10, 555–559 (1976).

  11. 11

    Turner, R. G. & Marshall, C. New Phytol. 70, 539–545 (1971).

  12. 12

    Silverberg, B. A. Phycologia 14, 265–274 (1975).

  13. 13

    Brown, B. E. Freshwat. Biol. 7, 235–244 (1977).

  14. 14

    Nichols, H. W. & Bold, H. C. J. Phycol. 1, 34–38 (1965).

  15. 15

    Steemann Nielsen, E. & Kamp-Nielsen, L. Physiol. Pl. 23, 828–840 (1970).

  16. 16

    Nuzzi, R. Nature 237, 38–40 (1972).

  17. 17

    Bartlett, L., Rabe, F. W. & Funk, W. H. Water Res. 8, 179–185 (1974).

  18. 18

    Davies, A. G. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 56, 39–57 (1976).

  19. 19

    Greene, J. C., Miller, W. E., Shiroyama, T., Soltero, R. A. & Putnam, K. Proc. Symp. on Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecological Studies of the Northwest, Eastern Washington State College, Cheney, Washington, March 26–27, 327–336 (1976).

  20. 20

    Kanazawa, T. & Kanazawa, K. Pl. cell. Physiol. Tokyo 10, 495–502 (1969).

  21. 21

    Tonomura, K., Maeda, K., Futai, F., Nakagami, T. & Yamada, M. Nature 217, 644 (1968).

  22. 22

    Ben-Bassat, D., Shelef, G., Gruner, N. & Shuval, H. I. Nature 240, 43–44 (1972).

  23. 23

    Bryan, G. W. in Effects of Pollutants on Aquatic Organisms (ed. Lockwood, A. P. M.) Soc. exp. Biol., Sem. Ser. 2, 7–34 (1976).

  24. 24

    McLean, R. O. & Jones, A. Freshwat. Biol. 5, 431–444 (1975).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

FOSTER, P. Copper exclusion as a mechanism of heavy metal tolerance in a green alga. Nature 269, 322–323 (1977). https://doi.org/10.1038/269322a0

Download citation

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.