The Effect of Copper Sulphate on the Swimming Speed of Wild Type CC-1690 Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

  • Emily Chorpita
  • Kimty Chowdhury
  • Safia Maher
  • Christina Melo


To test the toxicity of copper sulphate (CuSO4) on the swimming speed of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (C. reinhardtii), four different concentrations of CuSO4 solution were added to the organism’s growth medium. CuSO4 concentrations of 1 ppm, 3 ppm, and 5 ppm were used, in addition to a control of 0 ppm, consisting solely of cell medium. Cell speed was determined by capturing the organism’s movement using a DinoXcope camera inserted into a compound light microscope eyepiece and analyzing the videos using ImageJ with Fiji plugins software. A one-way ANOVA test returned an F statistic of F(3,32) = 4.5456 and a p-value of 0.0092. The null hypothesis was rejected as there was no significant difference in swimming speed between different CuSO4 treatments. The Tukey’s HSD returned a p-value of 0.0222 between the 0 ppm and 1 ppm groups and a p-value of 0.0132 between the 0 ppm and 3 ppm groups, indicating a significant difference in the swimming speed between the control group and the 1 ppm and 3 ppm groups. Furthermore, a linear downwards trend was observed between the 0 ppm, 1 ppm, and 3 ppm groups. Understanding the effect of various CuSO4 concentrations on the swimming speed of C. reinhardtii is important due to its impact on salmon, a keystone species that feeds on C. reinhardtii and plays a critical role in the ecosystem.