The purposes of this study were to characterize the complexation of toxic metals with algal toxins and to determine the effects of arsenic and copper on the growth of Karenia brevis under specific experimental conditions.
Microcystins, pahayokolides, brevetoxins and okadaic acid were used as representatives of algal toxins while arsenic, copper, cadmium, cobalt, iron, manganese and mercury were selected as typical toxic metals (including metalloids here) in the aquatic environment. The stabilities of the toxin-metal complexes were determined using equilibrium dialysis and/or centrifugal ultrafiltration technique. A direct exposure of arsenic and copper to the K. brevis was carried out to determine the effects of these metals to the growth of the algal cell.
The results indicated that Cu2+, Hg2+, Co2+, Cd2+ and Fe2+ were capable of complexing with the algal toxins. Moreover, the exposure experiments demonstrated that the high concentration of arsenic and copper could affect the growth of the K. brevis.