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American Journal of Plant Physiology
Year: 2011  |  Volume: 6  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 1 - 16

Study of Physiological and Biochemical Alterations in Cyanobacterium under Organic Stress

Shanthy Sundaram and K.K. Soumya    

Abstract: Combining nitrogen fixation with other bacterial metabolic capabilities to convert the waste carbon into useful raw materials would be a highly desirable further enhancement to the process. To study the possibility of further enhancement of the value proposition of waste remediation from cost-neutrality to profitability, we can use nitrogen-fixing or non nitrogen fixing cyanobacteria that also naturally accumulate effluent from remediating materials. A filamentous heterocystous cyanobacterium, Nostoc muscorum, unicellular-non heterocystous cyanobacterium, Synechococcus PCC 7942, filamentous non heterocystous cyanobacterium, Spirulina platensis and heterocystous filamentous cyanobacterium Anabaena cylindrica, have the ability to degrade industrial pollutants such as benzene, toluene and xylene. We have done the growth measurements and estimated the amount of pigments like chlorophyll-a, carotenoids, phycocyanin. We also have studied the accumulation of total peroxide radicals and lipid peroxidation due to accumulation of MDA and stress busters such as ascorbate, proline, glutathione etc under all the above stress. Total antioxidant activity of cyanobacteria is measured by TBARS assay. We have also studied the enzymes involved in the antioxidant mechanism like superoxide dismutase and peroxidase. The amount of pigments started decreasing as the concentration of the stress increased. But, the amount of ascorbate and proline and other antioxidant activities increased under stress. This suggests that cyanobacteria may be able to survive under organic stress. Biodegradation is increasingly being considered as a less expensive alternative to physical and chemical means of decomposing organic pollutants. Biosensors may be designed to indicate and estimate pollutants in natural wastes, using PS2 particles/ thylakoids/spheroplasts.

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