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Evaluation of metal toxicity by a modified method based on the fungus Gerronema viridilucens bioluminescence in agar medium

Authors

  • Luiz Fernando Mendes,

    1. Instituto de Química da Universidade de São Paulo, Caixa Postal 26077, 05599-970 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
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  • Cassius Vinicius Stevani

    Corresponding author
    1. Instituto de Química da Universidade de São Paulo, Caixa Postal 26077, 05599-970 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
    • Instituto de Química da Universidade de São Paulo, Caixa Postal 26077, 05599-970 São Paulo, SP, Brazil.
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Abstract

Metal cation toxicity to basidiomycete fungi is poorly understood, despite its well-known importance in terrestrial ecosystems. Moreover, there is no reported methodology for the routine evaluation of metal toxicity to basidiomycetes. In the present study, we describe the development of a procedure to assess the acute toxicity of metal cations (Na+, K+, Li+, Ca2+,Mg2+, Co2+, Zn2+, Ni2+, Mn2+, Cd2+, and Cu2+) to the bioluminescent basidiomycete fungus Gerronema viridilucens. The method is based on the decrease in the intensity of bioluminescence resulting from injuries sustained by the fungus mycelium exposed to either essential or nonessential metal toxicants. The assay described herein enables us to propose a metal toxicity series to Gerronema viridilucens based on data obtained from the bioluminescence intensity (median effective concentration [EC50] values) versus metal concentration: Cd2+ > Cu2+ > Mn2+ ≈ Ni2+ ≈ Co2+ > Zn2+ > Mg2+ > Li+ > K+ ≈ Na+ > Ca2+, and to shed some light on the mechanism of toxic action of metal cations to basidiomycete fungi. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2010;29:320–326. © 2009 SETAC

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