Triclosan-induced transcriptional and biochemical alterations in the freshwater green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

Chang Gui Pan*, Feng Jiao Peng, Wen Jun Shi, Li Xin Hu, Xiao Dong Wei, Guang Guo Ying

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Triclosan (TCS) is an antibacterial and antifungal agent widely used in personal care products (PCPs). We investigated the effects of TCS (20 μg/L, 100 μg/L and 500 μg/L) on Chlamydomonas reinhardtii by measuring the algal growth, chlorophyll content, lipid peroxidation, and transcription of the antioxidant-related genes (superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPX), catalase (CAT), glutathione S-transferase (GST), plastid terminal oxidase 2 (PTOX) and thioredoxin (TRX)) as well as biochemical alterations. The results showed significant dose-related effects of TCS on the algal species in terms of growth and chlorophyll content. Malondialdehyde (MDA) increased with increasing TCS concentrations and showed significant difference between the treatment of 405.3 μg/L TCS and control group. Transcription analysis revealed that the expression of SOD mRNA was most sensitive to TCS among the selected genes. In addition, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy showed time- and concentration-specific biochemical responses in C. reinhardtii when exposed to TCS. The biochemical alterations associated with different doses of TCS were mainly attributed to structural changes associated with lipid, protein, nucleic acid and carbohydrate. The findings from this study reveal that TCS in the aquatic environment may affect algal growth, chlorophyll synthesis, oxidative stress responses and cause biochemical alterations. This study provided important information to achieve a better understanding of the toxic mechanism of triclosan on algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-401
Number of pages9
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Biochemical alteration
  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
  • Gene expression
  • Growth
  • Toxicity
  • Triclosan


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