Effects of benzophenone-3 and its metabolites on the marine diatom Chaetoceros neogracilis: Underlying mechanisms and environmental implications

Yi YANG, Guang-Jie ZHOU, Ziying LI, Jiaji SUN, Alice Sze Tsai WONG, Vincent Chi Chiu KO, Shiu Sun Rudolf WU, Keng Po LAI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

The wide application of benzophenones (BPs), such as benzophenone-3 (BP3), as an ingredient in sunscreens, cosmetics, coatings, and plastics, has led to their global contamination in aquatic environments. Using the marine diatom Chaetoceros neogracilis as a model, this study assessed the toxic effects and mechanisms of BP3 and its two major metabolites (BP8 and BP1). The results showed that BP3 exhibited higher toxicity on C. neogracilis than BP8 and BP1, with their 72-h median effective concentrations being 0.4, 0.8 and 4 mg/L, respectively. Photosynthesis efficiencies were significantly reduced after exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of the three benzophenones, while cell viability, membrane integrity, membrane potential, and metabolic activities could be further impaired at their higher concentrations. Comparative transcriptomic analysis, followed by gene ontology and KEGG pathway enrichment analyses unraveled that all the three tested benzophenones disrupted photosynthesis and nitrogen metabolism of the diatom through alteration of similar pathways. The toxic effect of BP3 was also attributable to its unique inhibitory effects on eukaryotic ribosome biosynthesis and DNA replication. Taken together, our findings underscore that benzophenones may pose a significant threat to photosynthesis, oxygen production, primary productivity, carbon fixation, and the nitrogen cycle of diatom in coastal waters worldwide. Copyright © 2024 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Article number171371
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume923
Early online dateMar 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2024

Citation

Yang, Y., Zhou, G.-J., Li, Z., Sun, J., Wong, A. S. T., Ko, V. C. C., Wu, R. S. S., & Lai, K. P. (2024). Effects of benzophenone-3 and its metabolites on the marine diatom Chaetoceros neogracilis: Underlying mechanisms and environmental implications. Science of the Total Environment, 923, Artilce 171371. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2024.171371

Keywords

  • Benzophenones
  • Marine diatom
  • Photosynthesis
  • Nitrogen metabolism
  • Carbon fixation
  • Transcriptome

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