Molecular toxicity of triclosan and carbamazepine to green algae Chlorococcum sp.: A single cell view using synchrotron-based Fourier transform infrared spectromicroscopy Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Although pharmaceuticals and personal care products have been used and introduced into the environment in large quantities, little information on potential ecological risks is currently available considering their effects on living organisms. We verified the feasibility of using synchrotron-based Fourier Transform Infrared (SR-FTIR) spectromicroscopy to explore in vivo toxic effects on single living Chlorococcum sp. cells. The study provided important information to achieve a better understanding of the toxic mechanism of triclosan and carbamazepine on living algae Chlorococcum sp.. Triclosan and carbamazepine had distinctive toxic effects on unicellular living algae. Most strikingly, triclosan had more dramatic toxic effects on biochemical components than carbamazepine. Triclosan can affect algae primarily by inhibiting fatty acid synthesis and causing protein aggregation. The toxicity response was irreversible at higher concentration (100.000 μM), but attenuated at lower concentration (0.391 μM) as time extended. Carbamazepine can produce hydrophobic interactions to affect the phospholipid bilayer and work on specific proteins to disfunction the cell membrane. Carbamazepine-exposed cells developed a resistance while extending exposure time. This is the first demonstration from an ecological standpoint that SR-FTIR can provide an innovative approach to reveal the toxicity of emerging pollutants in aquatic environments.


  • Xin, Xiaying
  • Huang, Gordon
  • Liu, Xia
  • An, Chunjiang
  • Yao, Yao
  • Weger, Harold
  • Zhang, Peng
  • Chen, Xiujuan

publication date

  • July 2017