Microalgae are natural biotic models for exploring the genotoxic effect of heavy metals, irradiation, other external stimuli and the toxicant elimination. The effective removal of heavy metals from the aquatic environment using microalgae has gained considerable attention. However, limited research was carried out on cadmum toxicity in microalgae and their use as bio-accumulants. Previous research suggested that low-dose priming with non-ionizing radiations, such as gamma radiation, increased heavy metal tolerance in plants and aquatic photosynthetic microalgae. In the present study, we have hypothesized the growth inhibitory physiochemical properties of cadmium (Cd) in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, and analyzed the protective role of low-dose gamma radiations priming against Cd-induced growth inhibition by emphasizing mechanism of cell survival by antioxidant defence system. Experimentally, the gamma-primed C. reinhardtii exhibited higher cell survival and Cd tolerance with effective modulation of biochemical responses such as antioxidant enzymes. The current investigation revealed that low-dose priming of gamma radiation masks Cd-mediated oxidative stress and enhances cellular detoxification via intracellular antioxidant enzymes in C. reinhardtii.
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