Bioluminescence as a tool for studying detoxification processes in metal salt solutions involving humic substances

A. S. Tarasova, S. L. Kislan, E. S. Fedorova, A. M. Kuznetsov, O. A. Mogilnaya, D. I. Stom, N. S. Kudryasheva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The paper considers effects of humic substances (HS), as natural attenuators of toxicity, on solutions of model inorganic pollutants, metal salts - Pb(NO3)2, cl2, CuSO4, Eu(NO 3)3, cl3, and K3[Fe(N)6]. Luminous bacteria Photobacterium phosphoreum and bioluminescent system of coupled enzymatic reactions were used as bioassays to monitor toxicity of salt solutions. The ability of HS to decrease or increase toxicity was demonstrated. Detoxifying concentrations of HS were determined; detoxification coefficients were calculated at different times of exposure of salt solutions to HS. To study the combined effects of HS and salts on bioluminescent assay systems, the rates of biochemical reactions and bacterial ultrastructure were analyzed. The detoxifying effects were explained by: (1) decrease of free metal content in water solutions under metal-HS binding; (2) increase of biochemical reaction rates in a bioluminescent assay system under HS effect; (3) enhancement of mucous layers on cell surface as a response to unfavorable impact of toxicants. Detoxifying mechanisms (2) and (3) reveal the active role of bioassay systems in detoxification processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-170
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioluminescent assay
  • Enzyme reaction rates
  • Humic substances
  • Metal salts
  • Photobacterium phosphoreum
  • Toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics

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