Screening of PAHs and DDTs in sand and acrisols soil by a rapid solid-phase microalgal bioassay

M. K. Chung, R. Hu, K. C. Cheung, Ming Hung WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Previously we have demonstrated the rapid screening potential of a newly developed solid-phase microalgal bioassay with spiked sands. In this paper, we report further comparative results using both PAHs and DDTs spiked sands and field-collected acrisols soils. Toxicity responses obtained from standard higher plant tests with three species of plants (Lolium perenne, Cynodon dactylon and Brassica chinensis) were compared with those obtained from a cocktail of microalgae (Selenastrum capricornutum, Chlorococcum hypnosporum and the indigenous Chlorococcum meneghini). The 5-day seed germination/root elongation tests were not sensitive at all in contrast to the 4-day solid-phase microalgal tests and the 28-day early seedling growth tests in both spiked sands and contaminated soils. Sensitivities of microalgal tests were generally higher than the seedling growth tests in spiked sands. Concerning the assays with contaminated soil, the responses of microalgae and higher plants varied. However, the results demonstrated that microalgae could generally act as effective surrogates to screen xenobiotic compounds at toxic level to higher plants, with the local species C. meneghini especially sensitive to reveal phytotoxic effects. This promising rapid screening solution is possible to be used in accompany with standard seedling growth tests when assessing phytotoxicities of contaminated areas, especially for acrisols soil.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-438
Number of pages10
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Toxicology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • Bioassay
  • EC
  • Microalgae
  • Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
  • Persistent Toxic Substances (PTS)
  • Screening test
  • Vascular plants


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