The use of ultrasonic frequencies to control the bloom formation, regrowth, and eco-toxicity in Microcystis aeruginosa

C. B. Park, S. Baik, S. Kim, J. W. Choi, S. H. Lee, Y. J. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This study is focused on the use of ultrasound to disrupt Microcystis aeruginosa growth, with consideration for the gap between laboratory-scale experiment and field application. Laboratory-scale sonication systems with different frequencies (i.e., 20, 584, 869, and 1137 kHz) for 30 min at 10-min intervals were conducted to investigate their effectiveness at disrupting M. aeruginosa growth. The toxicological effect of sonicated M. aeruginosa including microcystin-LR was also evaluated using a Daphnia magna acute toxicity test. High frequencies, 869 and 1137 kHz, resulted in more than a 60% reduction of cells after 30 min of sonication. Low to middle frequencies, 20 and 584 kHz, only showed a 30% reduction of cells after 30 min of sonication. High frequencies also led to the inactivation of cell proliferation during M. aeruginosa regrowth, due to cellular destruction and finally cell death. However, the concentration of microcystin-LR and the potential adverse effects of M. aeruginosa on D. magna could not be controlled using ultrasonic frequencies. Therefore, our results suggest that ultrasonic frequencies between 869 and 1137 kHz are effective at controlling bloom formation in M. aeruginosa and the regrowth of M. aeruginosa after sonication, but not at controlling microcystin-LR concentrations and its adverse effects on D. magna. Consequently, a combined purification technology to reduce the cyanotoxins such as microcystin-LR, rather than ultrasonic frequency alone, will be needed to control M. aeruginosa growth and its toxicity levels in the aquatic environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)923-932
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Science and Technology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank S. Pflugmacher for an experimental comment of this study. This study was supported by Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) Institutional Program (Project No. 2E24280) and KIST Europe basic program (Project No. 11605).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Islamic Azad University (IAU).


  • Daphnia acute toxicity
  • Laboratory-scale sonication systems
  • Microcystin-LR
  • Microcystis aeruginosa
  • Ultrasonic frequency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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