Cadmium toxicity and resistance in Chlorella sp.

Drora Kaplan, Yair M. Heimer, Aharon Abeliovich, Peter B. Goldsbrough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The Cd2+ tolerance of Chlorella sp. isolated from an urban waste water treatment plant was studied. The growth of this alga was severely inhibited at 10 μM Cd2+ with an LD50 of 3 μM. Addition of 100 μM glutathione or 100 μM cysteine reduced the inhibitory effect of Cd2+. The amelioration of Cd2+ inhibition by GSH was not due to direct complexing of the two compounds in the growth medium, indicating that an intracellular mechanism involving GSH or its metabolites is responsible for Cd2+ detoxification. A Cd2+ resistant line (CdR-DK), with an LD50 of 35 μM, was selected by growing the alga on solid medium in the presence of increasing concentrations of the ion. Phytochelatins (PCs), a family of peptides synthesized by plants in response to cadmium, were detected in extracts of the CdR-DK cells. The possible role that these peptides, which are derived from glutathione, may play in cadmium detoxification in Chlorella is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-137
Number of pages9
JournalPlant Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 4 Aug 1995


  • Cd resistant
  • Chlorella sp.
  • Phytochelatins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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