Effect of chlortetracycline on the growth and intracellular components of Spirulina platensis and its biodegradation pathway

Ting Zhou, Leipeng Cao, Qi Zhang, Yuhuan Liu, Shuyu Xiang, Tongying Liu, Roger Ruan

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34 Scopus citations


Chlortetracycline (CTC) usually presents in livestock wastewater with oxytetracycline (OTC), causing damage to human health and ecosystems. It's urgent to seek low-cost and ecofriendly technology for antibiotics removal. In this study, effects of CTC and CTC + OTC (CTC:OTC= 1:1, g/g) on Spirulina platensis have been investigated. EC50 value of CTC for S. platensis was 8.76 mg/L at 96 h and risk quotient value in wastewater was 15.85. Inhibition of CTC on S. platensis gradually enhanced with increase of CTC, but CTC + OTC below 1.0 mg/L didn't harm the growth of microalgae. Chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) and carotenoid content showed a parabolic trend with extension of time at CTC group. Chl-a synthesis gradually decreased with increase of CTC + OTC stress. High concentrations of CTC and CTC + OTC showed obvious inhibition on phycocyanin production. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and saturated fatty acids (SFA) contents peaked at 1.0 mg/L CTC, corresponding to the minimum of superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in S. platensis. SFA and PUFA contents decreased when CTC + OTC content was above 2.0 mg/L. CTC and CTC + OTC (both over 2.0 mg/L) stimulated production of dissolved extracellular organic matters in S. platensis. Removal efficiency of CTC by S. platensis was about 98.63–99.95% and its biodegradation pathways were hydroxylation and side-chain breakdown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number125310
Pages (from-to)125310
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Early online dateFeb 4 2021
StatePublished - Jul 5 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Research Project of State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Nanchang University ( SKLF-ZZB-201915 ); The Key Project of Jiangxi Provincial Department of Science and Technology ( 20181BAB206030 , 20181BBF60026 , GCXZ2014-124 , 20161BBF60057 ); National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21878139 , 21878237 , 21706087 , 21466022 , 21766019 , 51708308 ) and the Post-doctoral Innovative Talents Support Program of China ( BX20190147 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Biodegradation pathway
  • CTC
  • Dissolved extracellular organic matters
  • Intracellular metabolites
  • S. platensis

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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