The unicellular fungal tool RhoTox for risk assessments in groundwater systems

Maria Josie Lategan*, William Klare, Sarah Kidd, Grant C. Hose, Helena Nevalainen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The recent inclusion of yeasts in environmental monitoring recognizes their ecological significance and sensitivity to toxicants. Here we present a robust and simple two-step toxicity assay and demonstrate the sensitivity of an ubiquitous groundwater yeast, Rhodotorula minuta, to a range of metals and metalloids. The test species was sensitive to copper with a 24 h EC50 of 35 μg Cu/L, followed in order of decreasing sensitivity by zinc, chromium (VI) and arsenic (EC50 4.40 mg As (III)/L). The strain demonstrated an unexpected tolerance to chromium (VI), having an EC50 value (3.45 mg Cr (VI)/L) similar to that of arsenic. The inclusion of a unicellular, microbial test-species into the suite of existing multicellular test species for toxicity evaluation is a key step towards strengthening the assessment of risk for groundwater ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-25
Number of pages8
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


  • Groundwater
  • Metals
  • Risk assessment
  • Toxicity
  • Yeast


Dive into the research topics of 'The unicellular fungal tool RhoTox for risk assessments in groundwater systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this