Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy as a novel approach towards providing effect-based endpoints in duckweed toxicity testing

Hu, Li-Xin and Ying, Guang-Guo and Chen, Xiao-Wen and Huang, Guo-Yong and Liu, You-Sheng and Jiang, Yu-Xia and Pan, Chang-Gui and Tian, Fei and Martin, Francis Luke (2017) Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy as a novel approach towards providing effect-based endpoints in duckweed toxicity testing. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 36 (2). pp. 346-353. ISSN 0730-7268

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Traditional duckweed toxicity tests only measure plant growth inhibition as an endpoint, with limited effects-based data. This study aimed to investigate whether Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy could enhance the duckweed (Lemna minor L.) toxicity test. Four chemicals (Cu, Cd, atrazine, and acetochlor) and four metals-containing industrial wastewater samples were tested. After exposure of duckweed to the chemicals, standard toxicity endpoints (frond number and chlorophyll content) were determined; the fronds were also interrogated using FTIR spectroscopy under optimized test conditions. Biochemical alterations associated with each treatment were assessed and further analyzed by multivariate analysis. The results showed that comparable ECx (x percent of effective concentration) values could be achieved based on FTIR spectroscopy in comparison to those based on traditional toxicity endpoints. Biochemical alterations associated with different doses of toxicant were mainly attributed to lipid, protein, nucleic acids and carbohydrate structural changes, which helped explain toxic mechanisms. With the help of multivariate analysis, separation of clusters related to different exposure doses could be achieved. This is the first study showing successful application of FTIR spectroscopy in standard duckweed toxicity tests with biochemical alterations as new endpoints.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Additional Information:
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Hu, L.-X., Ying, G.-G., Chen, X.-W., Huang, G.-Y., Liu, Y.-S., Jiang, Y.-X., Pan, C.-G., Tian, F. and Martin, F. L. (2017), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy as a novel approach to providing effect-based endpoints in duckweed toxicity testing. Environ Toxicol Chem, 36: 346–353. doi:10.1002/etc.3534 which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? environmental chemistryhealth, toxicology and mutagenesis ??
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Deposited On:
29 Jun 2016 10:52
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 16:10