Inter-population differences in inherited copper tolerance involve photosynthetic adaptation and exclusion mechanisms in Fucus serratus
Author for correspondence: Hanne D. Nielsen Tel: +45 46 71 27 85 Fax: +45 46 71 30 11 Email: hnielsen@Ruc.dk
- • A comparative study of copper (Cu) toxicity and tolerance in three populations of Fucus serratus was conducted by examining Cu2+ effects on various physiological parameters.
- • Chlorophyll fluorescence, oxygen evolution, copper content, and relative growth rate of embryos and adults were measured on Cu2+-exposed material.
- • Algae naturally exposed to elevated total Cu concentration (CuT), were more Cu2+ resistant than those from clean sites, as indicated by higher embryo and adult growth rates and lower copper contents. The Cu2+ tolerance of F. serratus is at least partly inherited and relies partly on metal exclusion.
- • There were inhibitory effects of Cu2+ on oxygen exchange rates in both tolerant and non-tolerant algae. By contrast to sensitive algae, the maximum efficiency of photosystem II (Fv/Fm), maximum fluorescence (Fm) and zero fluorescence (Fo) of resistant algae were unaffected by Cu2+, whereas decreased quantum yield (ΦPSII) and increased nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) were most pronounced in resistant algae. Inhibitory effects of Cu2+ on ΦPSII may result in the excitation energy being dissipated through xanthophyll-dependent quenching mechanisms in tolerant algae. In nontolerant algae, lower energy dissipation may result in chlorophyll degradation.