Using the Responses of Green Algae Spirogyra as Bioindicator for Metals and Pesticides Pollution

  • Journal of Environmental Science and Management
  • Wong Ling Shing
  • Tan Yeong Hwang
  • Kiew Wen Yi
  • Lim Jun Han
  • Ong Ghim Hock
Keywords: Spirogyra, metals, pesticides, bioindicator, algae


Metals and pesticides are common environmental pollutants. The presence of these pollutants in the environment need to be closely monitored because of its toxicity effects to human beings. In this study, the responses of Spirogyra in the form of changes in chlorophyll content due to the exposure to these pollutants were reported. The algae was collected from natural environment, immobilized with agarose gel, and then being exposed to lead (Pb), aluminium (Al), calcium (Ca), sodium (Na), atrazine and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D). The changes of chlorophyll in the algae were measured for 48 hours using a spectrophotometer at 663 nm and 450 nm respectively. The content of the pigment was changed due to the presence of the pollutants at concentrations of 0.001 mg L-1 to 1.000 mg L-1. The change might due to the biochemical reactions triggered by the pollutants. The response could potentially be used as whole cell bioindicator for the detection of the presence of metals and pesticides.