Uptake of Metals by Live Green Macroalgae Ulva reticulata in Industrial Wastewater of Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia


1 Centre for Marine and Coastal Studies (CEMACS), Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia

2 Iranian Fisheries Research Organization (IFRO), P. O. Box: 14155-6116, Tehran, Iran

3 School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia


This study was conducted to investigate the ability of Ulva reticulata (Chlorophyta) to remove Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, M n, M g, Pb, V, and Zn from industrial wastewater. A 24 h experiment was performed under laboratory and in situ conditions, which were set up in two places: (1) the industrial area in Bayan Lepas and (2) the coastal area close to Jerejak Island. The initial amounts of metals in U. reticulata were ranked as follows: M g > Fe > Zn  >  M n  >  Ni >  Cu  >  Cr  >  Co  >  Cd = Pb > V. However, after exposure to the experimental  conditions  for  24  h,  the sequence amounts  of  the metals  in  the tissue changed. Fe showed the highest uptake in situ with a maximum uptake of 869.0 ± 84.1 µg  g−1    dw.  M g  demonstrated  the  maximum  uptake  in  the  laboratory,  which  was 487.8 ± 130 µg g−1 dw. Cd presented the lowest uptake under both in situ and laboratory conditions, which was 0.04 ± 0.027 µg g−1  dw. The uptake capability  of U. reticulata depended  on  the  metal  concentration  in  water  and  under  experimental  conditions. Overall, this study revealed that U. reticulata can improve the quality of water discharged from industrial areas.


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