Date of Award:

5-1972

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Biology

Committee Chair(s)

Raymond Lynn

Committee

Raymond Lynn

Committee

Donald B. Porcella

Committee

Robert A. Gearheart

Abstract

The inhibition by low concentrations of inorganic mercury has been established for several species of freshwater algae, and a method has been developed to determine mercury levels in algal cells, having good precision at levels as low as one hundred parts per billion.

Rapid sorption of inorganic mercury by glassware was minimized by using heavy algal cultures and short term incubations. The rates and extent of mercury uptake by three species of freshwater green algae were delineated under laboratory conditions. Replicate mercury containing cultures yielded slightly different mercury concentrations upon analysis due to analytical errors and glass sorption. Therefore, percent mercury uptake by cells of available mercury at the time of sampling was found to be a reliable index for the rate, extent, and mechanism of mercury uptake.

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