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Mercury Reduction, Uptake, and Species Transformation by Freshwater Alga Chlorella vulgaris under Sunlit and Dark Conditions

  • Xujun Liang
    Xujun Liang
    CAS Key Laboratory for Biomedical Effects of Nanomaterials and Nanosafety, Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, United States
    School of Resources and Environment Science, Quanzhou Normal University, Quanzhou 362000, China
    More by Xujun Liang
  • Nali Zhu
    Nali Zhu
    Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, United States
    School of Environment, Hangzhou Institute for Advanced Study, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hangzhou 310024, China
    More by Nali Zhu
  • Alexander Johs
    Alexander Johs
    Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, United States
  • Hongmei Chen
    Hongmei Chen
    Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, United States
    More by Hongmei Chen
  • Dale A. Pelletier
    Dale A. Pelletier
    Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, United States
  • Lijie Zhang
    Lijie Zhang
    Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, United States
    More by Lijie Zhang
  • Xixiang Yin
    Xixiang Yin
    Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, United States
    More by Xixiang Yin
  • Yuxi Gao
    Yuxi Gao
    CAS Key Laboratory for Biomedical Effects of Nanomaterials and Nanosafety, Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    More by Yuxi Gao
  • Jiating Zhao*
    Jiating Zhao
    CAS Key Laboratory for Biomedical Effects of Nanomaterials and Nanosafety, Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, United States
    *Email: [email protected]. Tel: 865-574-7286, 86-10-88238121. Fax: 865-576-8543.
    More by Jiating Zhao
  • , and 
  • Baohua Gu
    Baohua Gu
    Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, United States
    Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996, United States
    More by Baohua Gu
Cite this: Environ. Sci. Technol. 2022, 56, 8, 4961–4969
Publication Date (Web):April 7, 2022
https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.1c06558
Copyright © 2022 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract

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    As a major entry point of mercury (Hg) to aquatic food webs, algae play an important role in taking up and transforming Hg species in aquatic ecosystems. However, little is known how and to what extent Hg reduction, uptake, and species transformations are mediated by algal cells and their exudates, algal organic matter (AOM), under either sunlit or dark conditions. Here, using Chlorella vulgaris (CV) as one of the most prevalent freshwater model algal species, we show that solar irradiation could enhance the reduction of mercuric Hg(II) to elemental Hg(0) by both CV cells and AOM. AOM reduced more Hg(II) than algal cells themselves due to cell surface adsorption and uptake of Hg(II) inside the cells under solar irradiation. Synchrotron radiation X-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy (SR-XANES) analyses indicate that sunlight facilitated the transformation of Hg to less bioavailable species, such as β-HgS and Hg-phytochelatins, compared to Hg(Cysteine)2-like species formed in algal cells in the dark. These findings highlight important functional roles and potential mechanisms of algae in Hg reduction and immobilization under varying lighting conditions and how these processes may modulate Hg cycling and bioavailability in the aquatic environment.

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    Cited By

    This article is cited by 8 publications.

    1. Hongzhe Dong, Lihong Liu, Qinfei Zhou, Yinyin Tang, Huiling Wang, Yongguang Yin, Jianbo Shi, Bin He, Yanbin Li, Ligang Hu, Guibin Jiang. Transformation of Mercuric Ions to Mercury Nanoparticles in Diatom Chaetoceros curvisetus. Environmental Science & Technology 2023, 57 (48) , 19772-19781. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.3c05618
    2. Jin Zhang, Chengjun Li, Wenli Tang, Mengjie Wu, Mingying Chen, Huan He, Pei Lei, Huan Zhong. Mercury in wetlands over 60 years: Research progress and emerging trends. Science of The Total Environment 2023, 869 , 161862. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.161862
    3. Xin Wen, Xu Yang, Tantan Wang, Zihao Li, Chi Ma, Wenhao Chen, Yubo He, Chang Zhang. Photoreduction of Hg(II) by typical dissolved organic matter in paddy environments. Chemosphere 2023, 158 , 138437. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2023.138437
    4. Zhike Li, Jie Chi, Bo Shao, Zhengyu Wu, Wei He, Yiwen Liu, Peizhe Sun, Huiming Lin, Xuejun Wang, Yingxin Zhao, Long Chen, Yindong Tong. Inhibition of methylmercury uptake by freshwater phytoplankton in presence of algae-derived organic matter. Environmental Pollution 2022, 313 , 120111. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2022.120111
    5. Xin Qi, Jiu-Qiang Xiong, Chen-Yu Zhao, Shaoguo Ru. Unraveling the key driving factors involved in cometabolism enhanced aerobic degradation of tetracycline in wastewater. Water Research 2022, 226 , 119285. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2022.119285
    6. Shuzhi Wang, Jia Duo, Rehemanjiang Wufuer, Wenfeng Li, Xiangliang Pan. The Binding Ability of Mercury (Hg) to Photosystem I and II Explained the Difference in Its Toxicity on the Two Photosystems of Chlorella pyrenoidosa. Toxics 2022, 10 (8) , 455. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10080455
    7. Federico Floreani, Alessandro Acquavita, Nicolò Barago, Katja Klun, Jadran Faganeli, Stefano Covelli. Gaseous Mercury Exchange from Water–Air Interface in Differently Impacted Freshwater Environments. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2022, 19 (13) , 8149. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19138149
    8. Thibaut Cossart, Javier Garcia-Calleja, João P. Santos, Elaheh Lotfi Kalahroodi, Isabelle A. M. Worms, Zoyne Pedrero, David Amouroux, Vera I. Slaveykova, . Role of phytoplankton in aquatic mercury speciation and transformations. Environmental Chemistry 2022, 19 (4) , 104-115. https://doi.org/10.1071/EN22045

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