Effects of Ginkgo biloba extract on growth, photosynthesis, and photosynthesis-related gene expression in Microcystis flos-aquae

Yuxin Shi, Anglu Shen, Liu Shao*, Peimin He

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The inhibitory effect of plants on algae offers a new and promising alternative method for controlling harmful algal blooms. Previous studies showed that anti-algal effects might be obvious from extracts of fallen leaves from terrestrial plants, which had great potential for cyanobacterial control in field tests. To investigate the anti-algal activities and main algicidal mechanisms of Ginkgo biloba fallen leaves extracts (GBE) on Microcystis flos-aquae, the cell density, photosynthetic fluorescence, and gene expression under different concentrations of GBE treatments were tested. GBE (3.00 g L−1) showed a strong inhibitory effect against M. flos-aquae with an IC50 (96h) of 0.79 g L−1. All the inhibition rates of maximal quantum yield (Fv/Fm), effective quantum yield (Fq’/Fm’), and maximal relative electron transfer rate (rETRmax) were more than 70% at 96 h at 3.00 g L−1 and more than 90% at 6.00 g L−1. Further results of gene expression of the core proteins of PSII (psbD), limiting enzyme in carbon assimilation (rbcL), and phycobilisome degradation protein (nblA) were downregulated after exposure. These findings emphasized that photosynthetic damage is one of the main toxic mechanisms of GBE on M. flos-aquae. When exposed to 12.00 g L−1 GBE, no significant influence on the death rate of zebrafish or photosynthetic activity of the three submerged plants was found. Therefore, appropriate use of GBE could control the expansion of M. flos-aquae colonies without potential risks to the ecological safety of aquatic environments, which means that GBE could actually be used to regulate cyanobacterial blooms in natural waters. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87446-87455
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number58
Early online date9 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Algal bloom control
  • Ginkgo biloba extract
  • Inhibition mechanisms
  • Microcystis flos-aquae


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