Chlorella vulgaris chlorophyll a fluorescence as a potential indicator for zinc and nickel detection

Philippine Science High School - Main Campus
Mira Nicole J. Taguba;Bianca Victoria P. Gepte;Lydia Vittoria T. Cabanlig
Chlorella vulgaris, heavy metal, chlorophyll fluorescence


Heavy metals contaminate many bodies of water, posing a health risk to not only organisms that live and use the water in these areas, but also to the humans that live nearby. Chlorella vulgaris, a microalga, is one organism whose chlorophyll a fluorescence can indicate the presence of these substances, detecting any changes in concentrations using fluorescence microscopy and other fluorescence devices. The study explores the sensitivity of C. vulgaris to the heavy metal zinc where the algae was exposed to five concentrations of zinc: 0 ppm, 5 ppm, 10 ppm, 50 ppm, and 100 ppm. The fluorescence of the samples was observed with a fluorescence microscope on days 0, 4, 7, and 12, where the algal samples were adapted to the dark for 5 minutes, then exposed to light for 90 seconds. The values of the minimal and maximal fluorescence of the samples in the dark were noted. There is a significant difference in the values of the minimal fluorescence, maximal fluorescence, and maximum quantum yield, a value derived from the minimal and maximal fluorescence, at the highest concentration, 100 ppm, from the other treatments for the entirety of the experiment. The significantly low values at 100 ppm and the calculated EC50 of 75.70 ppm indicate that C. vulgaris is indeed a viable indicator for zinc detection at this and higher concentrations of zinc.

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