Flow cytometry detection of planktonic cells with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons sorbed to cell surfaces

Maria I. Cerezo, Matthew Linden, Susana Agusti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are very important components of oil pollution. These pollutants tend to sorb to cell surfaces, exerting toxic effects on organisms. Our study developed a flow cytometric method for the detection of PAHs sorbed to phytoplankton by exploiting their spectral characteristics. We discriminated between cells with PAHs from cells free of PAHs. Clear discrimination was observed with flow cytometer provided with 375 or 405nm lasers in addition to the standard 488nm laser necessary to identify phytoplankton. Using this method, we measured the relationship between the percentages of phytoplankton organisms with PAHs, with the decrease in the growth rate. Moreover, the development of this method could be extended to facilitate the study of PAHs impact on cell cultures from a large variety of organisms.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-70
Number of pages7
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 17 2017

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This research was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness by the project StressX (CTM2012-32603) and the Australian Research Council's Discovery Projects (project number DP140100825). M.I. Cerezo acknowledges a pre-doctoral fellow-ship from the JAE program (JAEPre121) of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC). The authors acknowledge the facilities, and the scientific and technical assistance of the Australian Microscopy & Microanalysis Research Facility at the Centre for Microscopy, Characterization & Analysis, the University of Western Australia, a facility funded by the University, State and Commonwealth Governments.


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