Comparative investigation of toxicity and bioaccumulation of Cd-based quantum dots and Cd salt in freshwater plant Lemna minor L.
Abstract The purpose of this study was to determine the toxicity of two different sources of cadmium, i.e. CdCl 2 and Cd-based Quantum Dots (QDs), for freshwater model plant Lemna minor L. Cadmium telluride QDs were capped with two coating ligands: glutathione (GSH) or 3-mercaptopropionic acid (MPA). Growth rate inhibition and final biomass inhibition of L. minor after 168-h exposure were monitored as toxicity endpoints. Dose-response curves for Cd toxicity and EC50 168h values were statistically evaluated for all sources of Cd to uncover possible differences among the toxicities of tested compounds. Total Cd content and its bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) in L. minor after the exposure period were also determined to distinguish Cd bioaccumulation patterns with respect to different test compounds. Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) with lateral resolution of 200μm was employed in order to obtain two-dimensional maps of Cd spatial distribution in L. minor fronds. Our results show that GSH- and MPA-capped Cd-based QDs have similar toxicity for L . minor , but are significantly less toxic than CdCl 2 . However, both sources of Cd lead to similar patterns of Cd bioaccumulation and distribution in L . minor fronds. Our results are in line with previous reports that the main mediators of Cd toxicity and bioaccumulation in aquatic plants are Cd 2+ ions dissolved from Cd-based QDs. Highlights Cd-based QDs were less toxic than CdCl 2 at the same total Cd exposure concentrations. Bioaccumulation of Cd from CdCl 2 and Cd-based QDs in L. minor was similar. LIBS could be used for rapid 2D spatial distribution mapping of Cd in plants. TEM demonstrated no presence of QDs inside or on the surface of L . minor fronds. Graphical abstract [DISPLAY OMISSION]
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