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Volume 24 (2010), Issue 3-4, Pages 381-385

Resistance to irradiation of micro-algae growing in the storage pools of a nuclear reactor investigated by NMR and neutron spectroscopies

Corinne Rivasseau,1,4 Emmanuel Farhi,2 Marina Gromova,3 Jacques Ollivier,2 and Richard Bligny1

1CEA, DSV, iRTSV, Laboratoire de Physiologie Cellulaire Végétale, CNRS, Grenoble, France
2Institut Laue Langevin, Grenoble, France
3CEA, DSM, INAC, SCIB, Grenoble, France
4CEA, DSV, iRTSV, Laboratoire de Physiologie Cellulaire Végétale, UMR5168, CNRS, 17 rue des Martyrs, 38054 Grenoble Cedex 9, France

Copyright © 2010 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A green Chlorophycean micro-alga surviving high irradiation doses has been discovered in the storage pools of a nuclear reactor. Investigating the mechanisms sustaining its properties is of peculiar interest. Metabolic impact of irradiation on the micro-alga as well as structural macromolecular impact were investigated using nuclear magnetic resonance and neutron backscattering spectroscopy. Carbohydrate, amino acid and organic acid content studied as a function of the irradiation dose revealed an intense protein repair activity. Resilience was extracted according to irradiation dose and compared to that of other extremophile species.