Prediction of metal toxicity in aquatic organisms

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-202
Journal / PublicationChinese Science Bulletin
Issue number2
Online published16 Aug 2012
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


Metal pollution has been a major environmental problem in China with the increasing industrialization. The prediction of metal toxicity is extremely challenging due to the complex metal handling and sequestration strategies of different aquatic organisms. In this review, the recent progress made in this area is discussed. In particular, the subcellular partitioning model which has gained recognition in recent years is highlighted. The subcellular partitioning model appears to be dependable for predicting the toxicity in unicellular phytoplankton. It is important to understand the differential ways that metals bind to different subcellular pools and their ecotoxicological significance in aquatic organisms under different exposure regimes. It is also critical to appreciate that every metal is unique to each aquatic species. Despite the huge progress made over the past 30 years, much remains to be done to fully understand metal toxicity in aquatic organisms. © 2012 The Author(s).

Research Area(s)

  • aquatic organisms, biologically detoxified metals, metal pollution, metal sensitive fraction, subcellular distribution, toxicity