Linear solvation energy relationships for toxicity of selected organic chemicals to Daphnia pulex and Daphnia magna

Proceedings of the QSAR

, ,


  • The Publications Warehouse does not have links to digital versions of this publication at this time


In the Laurentian Great Lakes, more than 300 contaminants have been identified in fish, other biota, water, and sediment. Current hazard assessment of these chemicals by the National Fisheries Research Center-Great Lakes is based on their toxicity, occurrence in the environment, and source. Although scientists at the Center have tested over 70 chemicals with the crustacean Daphnia pulex, the number of experimental data needed to screen the huge array of chemicals in the Great Lakes exceeds the practical capabilities of conducting bioassays. This limitation can be partly circumvented, however, by using mathematical models based on quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR) to provide rapid, inexpensive estimates of toxicity. Many properties of chemicals, including toxicity, bioaccumulation and water solubility are well correlated and can be predicted by equations of the generalized linear solvation energy relationships (LSER). The equation we used to model solute toxicity is Toxicity = constant + mVI/100 + s (π* + dδ) + bβm + aαm where VI = intrinsic (Van der Waals) molar volume; π* = molecular dipolarity/polarizability; δ = polarizability 'correction term'; βm = solute hydrogen bond acceptor basicity; and αm = solute hydrogen bond donor acidity. The subscript m designates solute monomer values for α and β. We applied the LSER model to 48-h acute toxicity data (measured as immobilization) for six classes of chemicals detected in Great Lakes fish. The following regression was obtained for Daphnia pulex (concentration = μM): log EC50 = 4.86 - 4.35 VI/100; N = 38, r2 = 0.867, sd = 0.403 We also used the LSER modeling approach to analyze to a large published data set of 24-h acute toxicity for Daphnia magna; the following regression resulted, for eight classes of compounds (concentration = mM): log EC50 = 3.88 - 4.52 VI/100 - 1.62 π* + 1.66 βm - 0.916 αm; N = 62, r2 = 0.859, sd = 0.375 In addition we developed computer software that identifies chemical structures, estimates the LSER parameters, and predicts toxicity. The LSER models promise to be effective in differentiating between reactive and nonreactive toxicity behavior where other models have failed. Contaminants with reactive behavior are generally the most toxic and rank highest in hazard assessment of environmental chemicals.

Geospatial Extents

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
Conference publication
Linear solvation energy relationships for toxicity of selected organic chemicals to Daphnia pulex and Daphnia magna
Series title:
Proceedings of the QSAR
Year Published:
National Technical Information Service
Publisher location:
Springfield, VA
Contributing office(s):
Great Lakes Science Center
p. 131-146
Number of Pages:
Conference Title:
Proceedings of the QSAR: third international workshop on quantitative structure-activity relationships in environmental toxicology
Conference Location:
Knoxville, TN
Conference Date:
Other Geospatial:
The Great Lakes