Catalase in fluvial biofilms: a comparison between different extraction methods and example of application in a metal-polluted river

Antioxidant enzymes are involved in important processes of cell detoxification during oxidative stress and have, therefore, been used as biomarkers in algae. Nevertheless, their limited use in fluvial biofilms may be due to the complexity of such communities. Here, a comparison between different extraction methods was performed to obtain a reliable method for catalase extraction from fluvial biofilms. Homogenization followed by glass bead disruption appeared to be the best compromise for catalase extraction. This method was then applied to a field study in a metal-polluted stream (Riou Mort, France). The most polluted sites were characterized by a catalase activity 4–6 times lower than in the low-polluted site. Results of the comparison process and its application are promising for the use of catalase activity as an early warning biomarker of toxicity using biofilms in the laboratory and in the field ​
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