N. M.L. Morel, J. C. Rueter, Francois M. M. Morel

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Copper toxicity to Skeletonema costatum (Grev.) Cleve has been studied in batch cultures of chemically defined culture media. The alga is relatively insensitive to cupric ion activity, demonstrating no effect on growth up to (Cu2+) = 10−8.5 M. Cultures inoculated from stationary phase stocks exhibit a prolongation of the lag phase with increasing copper concentrations near and above the point of precipitation of the copper. The toxicity of copper is a function of the silicic acid concentration in the medium. This effect is observed in a range of Si(OH)4 concentrations (10−5 M to 10−4 M) above known values for the saturation of silicon uptake kinetics, thus suggesting an influence of copper on silicate metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-48
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Phycology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1978

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aquatic Science
  • Plant Science


  • Skeletonema
  • copper
  • cupric ion
  • lag phase
  • silicic acid
  • silicon
  • toxicity

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