[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Biological nitrification/denitrification is frequently used to remove nitrogen from tannery wastewater containing high concentrations of ammonia. However, information is limited about the bacterial nitrifiers and denitrifiers and their functional genes in tannery wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) due to the low-throughput of the previously used methods. In this study, 454 pyrosequencing and Illumina high-throughput sequencing, combined with molecular methods, were used to comprehensively characterize structures and functions of nitrification and denitrification bacterial communities in aerobic and anaerobic sludge of two full-scale tannery WWTPs. Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes showed that Proteobacteria and Synergistetes dominated in the aerobic and anaerobic sludge, respectively. Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) amoA gene cloning revealed that Nitrosomonas europaea dominated the ammonia-oxidizing community in the WWTPs. Metagenomic analysis showed that the denitrifiers mainly included the genera of Thauera, Paracoccus, Hyphomicrobium, Comamonas and Azoarcus, which may greatly contribute to the nitrogen removal in the two WWTPs. It is interesting that AOB and ammonia-oxidizing archaea had low abundance although both WWTPs demonstrated high ammonium removal efficiency. Good correlation between the qPCR and metagenomic analysis is observed for the quantification of functional genes amoA, nirK, nirS and nosZ, indicating that the metagenomic approach may be a promising method used to comprehensively investigate the abundance of functional genes of nitrifiers and denitrifiers in the environment.
PLoS ONE 11/2014; 9(11):e113603. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Iron (Fe) has been widely applied to treat arsenic (As)-contaminated water, and Fe could influence bioavailability and toxicity of As. However, little is known about the impact of As and/or Fe on gut microbiota, which plays important roles in host health. In this study, high-throughput sequencing and quantitative real time PCR were applied to analyze the impact of As and Fe on mouse gut microbiota. Co-exposure of As and Fe mitigated effects on microbial community to a certain extent. Correlation analysis showed the shifts in gut microbiota caused by As and/or Fe exposure might be important reason of changes in metabolic profiles of mouse. For antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs), co-exposure of As and Fe increased types and abundance of ARGs. But for high abundance ARGs, such as tetQ, tetO and tetM, co-exposure of As and Fe mitigated effects on their abundances compared to exposure to As and Fe alone. No obvious relationship between ARGs and mobile genetic elements were found. The changes in ARGs caused by metal exposure might be due to the alteration of gut microbial diversity. Our results show that changes of gut microbial community caused by As and/or Fe can influence host metabolisms and abundances of ARGs in gut, indicating that changes of gut microbiota should be considered during the risk assessment of As and/or Fe.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to comprehensively investigate bacterial virulence in drinking water, 454 pyrosequencing and Illumina high-throughput sequencing were used to detect potential pathogenic bacteria and virulence factors (VFs) in a full-scale drinking water treatment and distribution system. 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing revealed high bacterial diversity in the drinking water (441-586 operational taxonomic units). Bacterial diversity decreased after chlorine disinfection, but increased after pipeline distribution. α-Proteobacteria was the most dominant taxonomic class. Alignment against the established pathogen database showed that several types of putative pathogens were present in the drinking water and Pseudomonas aeruginosa had the highest abundance (over 11‰ of total sequencing reads). Many pathogens disappeared after chlorine disinfection, but P. aeruginosa and Leptospira interrogans were still detected in the tap water. High-throughput sequencing revealed prevalence of various pathogenicity islands and virulence proteins in the drinking water, and translocases, transposons, Clp proteases and flagellar motor switch proteins were the predominant VFs. Both diversity and abundance of the detectable VFs increased after the chlorination, and decreased after the pipeline distribution. This study indicates that joint use of 454 pyrosequencing and Illumina sequencing can comprehensively characterize environmental pathogenesis, and several types of putative pathogens and various VFs are prevalent in drinking water.
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 08/2014; 109C:15-21. · 2.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tetracyclines are antibiotics commonly used in swine farms to treat disease and promote growth. However, there are growing concerns regarding the discharge of animal feces into the environment owing to the potential for development and dissemination of tetracycline resistance genes (TRGs). In this study, farming wastewater from one Chinese swine farm as well as river water from seven locations downstream of the farm was sampled. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) showed that 12 TRGs, including six efflux pump genes (tet(B), tet(C), tet(D), tet(E), tet(G) and tet(L)), five ribosomal protection proteins (RPPs) genes (tet(O), tet(M), tet(Q), tet(W) and tet(S)), and one enzymatic modification gene (tet(X)), were present in all wastewater and river water samples. Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) showed that the abundance of tet(C), tet(X), tet(O), tet(M), tet(Q) and tet(W) decreased with downstream flow. Among the detected TRGs, tet(C) had the highest abundance, ranging from 459.5 copies/16S rRNA gene copies in wastewater to 33.8 copies/16S rRNA gene copies in river water samples collected from the last location. Furthermore, pig-specific Bacteroidales 16S rRNA genetic marker was quantified by qPCR to determine the level of fecal pollution in the river water. Bivariate correlation analysis confirmed that the total relative abundance of the six TRGs was significantly correlated with the level of swine feces in the aquatic environment (R(2) = 0.63, P < 0.05), suggesting that swine feces mainly contributed to the spread of TRGs in the river water. Supplemental materials are available for this article. Go to the publisher's online edition of Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A to view the free supplemental file.
Journal of Environmental Science and Health Part B Pesticides Food Contaminants and Agricultural Wastes 08/2014; 49(8):624-631. · 1.10 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, we utilized the Illumina high-throughput metagenomic approach to investigate diversity and abundance of both microbial community and copper resistance genes (CuRGs) in activated sludge (AS) which was enriched under copper selective stress up to 800 mg/L. The raw datasets (~3.5 Gb for each sample, i.e., the copper-enriched AS and the control AS) were merged and normalized for the BLAST analyses against the SILVA SSU rRNA gene database and self-constructed copper resistance protein database (CuRD). Also, the raw metagenomic sequences were assembled into contigs and analyzed based on Open Reading Frames (ORFs) to identify potentially novel copper resistance genes. Among the different resistance systems for copper detoxification under the high copper stress condition, the Cus system was the most enriched system. The results also indicated that genes encoding multi-copper oxidase played a more important role than those encoding efflux proteins. More significantly, several potentially novel copper resistance ORFs were identified by Pfam search and phylogenic analysis. This study demonstrated a new understanding of microbial-mediated copper resistance under high copper stress using high-throughput shotgun sequencing technique.
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 08/2014; · 3.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cross-omics profiling and phenotypic analysis were conducted to comprehensively assess the toxicities of source of drinking water (SDW), effluent of conventional treatment (ECT) and effluent of advanced treatment (EAT) in a water treatment plant. SDW feeding increased body weight, and relative liver and kidney weights of mice. Hepatic histopathological damages and serum biochemical alterations were observed in the mice fed with SDW and ECT, but EAT feeding showed no obvious effects. Transcriptomic analysis demonstrated that exposure to water samples caused differential expression of hundreds of genes in livers. Cluster analysis of the differentially expressed genes which generated by both microarrays and digital gene expression showed similar grouping patterns. Proteomic and metabolomics analyses indicated that drinking SDW, ECT and EAT generated 59, 145 and 41 significantly altered proteins in livers and 8, 2 and 0 altered metabolites in serum, respectively. SDW was found to affect several metabolic pathways including metabolism of xenobiotics by cytochrome P450 and fatty acid metabolism. SDW and ECT might induce molecular toxicities to mice, but the advanced treatment process can reduce the potential health risk by effectively removing toxic chemicals in drinking water.
Journal of hazardous materials 04/2014; 271:57–64. · 4.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to comprehensively investigate tetracycline resistance in activated sludge of sewage treatment plants, 454 pyrosequencing and Illumina high-throughput sequencing were used to detect potential tetracycline resistant bacteria (TRB) and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in sludge cultured with different concentrations of tetracycline. Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene revealed that tetracycline treatment greatly affected the bacterial community structure of the sludge. Nine genera consisting of Sulfuritalea, Armatimonas, Prosthecobacter, Hyphomicrobium, Azonexus, Longilinea, Paracoccus, Novosphingobium and Rhodobacter were identified as potential TRB in the sludge. Results of qPCR, molecular cloning and metagenomic analysis consistently indicated that tetracycline treatment could increase both the abundance and diversity of the tet genes, but decreased the occurrence and diversity of non-tetracycline ARG, especially sulfonamide resistance gene sul2. Cluster analysis showed that tetracycline treatment at subinhibitory concentrations (5 mg/L) was found to pose greater effects on the bacterial community composition, which may be responsible for the variations of the ARGs abundance. This study indicated that joint use of 454 pyrosequencing and Illumina high-throughput sequencing can be effectively used to explore ARB and ARGs in the environment, and future studies should include an in-depth investigation of the relationship between microbial community, ARGs and antibiotics in sewage treatment plant (STP) sludge.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences 01/2014; 15(6):10083-10100. · 2.46 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The metagenomic approach was applied to characterize variations of microbial structure and functions in raw (RW) and treated water (TW) in a drinking water treatment plant (DWTP) at Pearl River Delta, China. Microbial structure was significantly influenced by the treatment processes, shifting from Gammaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria in RW to Alphaproteobacteria in TW. Further functional analysis indicated the basic metabolic functions of microorganisms in TW did not vary considerably. However, protective functions, i.e. glutathione synthesis genes in 'oxidative stress' and 'detoxification' subsystems, significantly increased, revealing the surviving bacteria may have higher chlorine resistance. Similar results were also found in glutathione metabolism pathway, which identified the major reaction for glutathione synthesis and supported more genes for glutathione metabolism existed in TW. This metagenomic study largely enhanced our knowledge about the influences of treatment processes, especially chlorination, on bacterial community structure and protective functions (e.g. glutathione metabolism) in ecosystems of DWTPs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antibiotics are often used to prevent sickness and improve production in animal agriculture, and the residues in animal bodies may enter tannery wastewater during leather production. This study aimed to use Illumina high-throughput sequencing to investigate the occurrence, diversity and abundance of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and mobile genetic elements (MGEs) in aerobic and anaerobic sludge of a full-scale tannery wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). Metagenomic analysis showed that Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria dominated in the WWTP, but the relative abundance of archaea in anaerobic sludge was higher than in aerobic sludge. Sequencing reads from aerobic and anaerobic sludge revealed differences in the abundance of functional genes between both microbial communities. Genes coding for antibiotic resistance were identified in both communities. BLAST analysis against Antibiotic Resistance Genes Database (ARDB) further revealed that aerobic and anaerobic sludge contained various ARGs with high abundance, among which sulfonamide resistance gene sul1 had the highest abundance, occupying over 20% of the total ARGs reads. Tetracycline resistance genes (tet) were highly rich in the anaerobic sludge, among which tet33 had the highest abundance, but was absent in aerobic sludge. Over 70 types of insertion sequences were detected in each sludge sample, and class 1 integrase genes were prevalent in the WWTP. The results highlighted prevalence of ARGs and MGEs in tannery WWTPs, which may deserve more public health concerns.
PLoS ONE 10/2013; 8(10):e76079. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recently, we have indicated that microcystin-LR, a cyanobacterial toxin produced in eutrophic lakes or reservoirs, can increase invasive ability of melanoma MDA-MB-435 cells; however, the stimulatory effect needs identification by in vivo experiment and the related molecular mechanism is poorly understood. In this study, in vitro and in vivo experiments were conducted to investigate the effect of microcystin-LR on invasion and metastasis of human melanoma cells, and the underlying molecular mechanism was also explored. MDA-MB-435 xenograft model assay showed that oral administration of nude mice with microcystin-LR at 0.001-0.1 mg/kg/d posed no significant effect on tumor weight. Histological examination demonstrated that microcystin-LR could promote lung metastasis, which is confirmed by Matrigel chamber assay suggesting that microcystin-LR treatment at 25 nM can increase the invasiveness of MDA-MB-435 cells. In vitro and in vivo experiments consistently showed that microcystin-LR exposure increased mRNA and protein levels of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP-2/-9) by activating phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K)/AKT. Additionally, microcystin-LR treatment at low doses (≤ 25 nM) decreased lipid phosphatase PTEN expression, and the microcystin-induced invasiveness enhancement and MMP-2/-9 over-expression were reversed by the PI3-K/AKT chemical inhibitor LY294002 and AKT siRNA, indicating that microcystin-LR promotes invasion and metastasis of MDA-MB-435 cells via the PI3-K/AKT pathway.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to comprehensively characterize the copper and cadmium resistance in activated sludge of a tannery wastewater treatment plant, a resistance protein database of the two heavy metals was manually created by retrieving annotated sequences and related information from the public databases and published literatures. The metagenomic DNA was extracted from the activated sludge for Illumina high-throughput sequencing, and the obtained 11,973,394 clean reads (1.61 Gb) were compared against the established databases using BLAST tool. Annotations of the BLAST hits showed that 222 reads (0.019 per thousand) and 197 reads (0.016 per thousand) were identified as copper and cadmium resistance genes, respectively. Among the identified cadmium resistance genes, czcA encoding cobalt-zinc-cadmium resistance protein had the highest abundance (83 reads, 0.0069 per thousand), which was further confirmed by annotation of the open reading frames predicted with the assembly contigs. Among the copper resistance genes, copA (66 reads, 0.0055 per thousand) was most abundant, followed by copK and cusR. Alignment against the Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COG) database also suggested that 87.26% of the matched reads were grouped in COG0474 (cation transport ATPase). This study may be practically helpful for exploring various functional genes in the environment using high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatics methods.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study investigated the occurrence and abundance of class 1 integrons and related antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in a sewage treatment plant (STP) of China. Totally, 189 bacterial strains were isolated from influent, activated sludge and effluent, and 40 isolates contained the integons with a complete structure. The intl1-carrying isolates were found to harbor two types of gene cassettes: dfr17-aadA5 and aadA2, conferring resistances to trimethoprim and streptomycin, which were further confirmed by antimicrobial susceptibility analysis. Many other gene cassettes were carried on integron, including qnrVC1, catB-8-blaoxa-10-aadA1-aac(6'), aadB-aacA29b, aadA2, aac(6')-1b, aadA6 and aadA12, which were detected using DNA cloning. Quantitative real time PCR showed that over 99% of the integrons was eliminated in activated sludge process, but average copy number of integrons in given bacterial cells was increased by 56% in treated sewage. Besides integrons, other mobile gene elements (MGEs) were present in the STP with high abundance. MGEs and the associated ARGs may be wide-spread in STPs, which constitute a potential hot spot for selection of antibiotic resistant bacteria and horizontal transfer of ARGs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study aimed to investigate the chlorination effects on microbial antibiotic resistance in a drinking water treatment plant. Biochemical identification, 16S rRNA gene cloning and metagenomic analysis consistently indicated that Proteobacteria were the main antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) dominating in the drinking water and chlorine disinfection greatly affected microbial community structure. After chlorination, higher proportion of the surviving bacteria was resistant to chloramphenicol, trimethoprim and cephalothin. Quantitative real-time PCRs revealed that sulI had the highest abundance among the antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) detected in the drinking water, followed by tetA and tetG. Chlorination caused enrichment of ampC, aphA2, bla(TEM-1), tetA, tetG, ermA and ermB, but sulI was considerably removed (p < 0.05). Metagenomic analysis confirmed that drinking water chlorination could concentrate various ARGs, as well as of plasmids, insertion sequences and integrons involved in horizontal transfer of the ARGs. Water pipeline transportation tended to reduce the abundance of most ARGs, but various ARB and ARGs were still present in the tap water, which deserves more public health concerns. The results highlighted prevalence of ARB and ARGs in chlorinated drinking water and this study might be technologically useful for detecting the ARGs in water environments.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study aimed to explore the molecular mechanisms behind the stimulation effects of microcystin-LR (a well-known cyanobacterial toxin produced in eutrophic lakes or reservoirs) on cancer cell invasion and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) expression. Boyden chamber assay showed that microcystin-LR exposure (>12.5 nM) evidently enhanced the invasion ability of the melanoma cells (MDA-MB-435). Tumor Metastasis PCR Array demonstrated that 24 h microcystin-LR treatment (25 nM) caused overexpression of eight genes involved in tumor metastasis, including MMP-2, MMP-9, and MMP-13. Quantitative real-time PCR, Western blotting and gelatin zymography consistently demonstrated that mRNA and protein levels of MMP-2/-9 were increased in the cells after microcystin-LR exposure (P < 0.05 each). Immunofluorescence assay and electrophoretic mobility shift assay revealed that microcystin-LR could activate nuclear factor kappaB (NF-κB) by accelerating NF-κB translocation into the nucleus and enhancing NF-κB binding ability. Furthermore, addition of NF-κB inhibitor in culture medium could suppress the invasiveness enhancement and MMP-2/-9 overexpression. This study indicates that microcystin-LR can act as a NF-κB activator to promote MMP-2/-9 expression and melanoma cell invasion, which deserves more environmental health concerns.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mice were fed with source water (SW) and tap water (TW) for 90 d to evaluate hepatotoxicity induced by the drinking water. Histopathologic observation showed no obvious damage to hepatic tissue in the SW and TW groups. However, microarray analysis indicated that the SW and TW exposures affected many metabolic pathways, among which PPAR (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors) signaling was most susceptible. Immunohistochemical staining demonstrated that both PPAR-α and PPAR-γ were significantly increased in the exposure groups compared to control. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay revealed that PPAR-α expression level was increased from 23.37±0.53 ng g(-1) liver weight in control group to 26.60±1.43 ng g(-1) liver weight in SW group and 27.68±1.10 ng g(-1) liver weight in TW group (p<0.05). For PPAR-γ, the expression level was also significantly enhanced from 0.83±0.07 ng g(-1) liver weight in control group to 1.11±0.20 ng g(-1) liver weight in SW group and 1.16±0.07 ng g(-1) liver weight in TW group (p<0.05). The SW and DW posed no obvious hepatotoxicity on mice and PPAR-α/-γ could be used as a novel biomarker to assess public health risk induced by slightly contaminated drinking water.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The emerging antibiotic resistance genes in the aquatic environment have aroused public concern. As β-lactam is the most widely used group of antibiotics, β-lactam resistance genes were selected to investigate their distribution and diversity in the activated sludge from 15 geographically different sewage treatment plants (STPs) of China, Singapore, USA, and Canada. Specific PCR and quantitative real-time PCR (q-PCR) were used to investigate the occurrence and abundance of nine β-lactam resistance genes. Five genes (OXA-1, OXA-2, OXA-10, ampC, and TEM-1) were detected in most of the sludge collected, while three genes (mecA, CTX-M-1, and SME) were not found in any sludge sample. The total abundances of the six detected β-lactam resistance genes in the 15 STPs varied from 5.34 × 10(1) copies/ng DNA (ampC) to 5.49 × 10(4) copies/ng DNA (OXA-1). Overall, OXA-1 had the highest total concentration, followed by IMP and OXA-10. Noticeably, the abundances of TEM-1 in Chinese STPs were generally higher than those in the STPs of other countries, while the abundances of OXA-2 and IMP in the STPs of North America were much greater than those of East Asia. A total of 78 clones carrying β-lactam resistance genes were randomly selected from six clone libraries for phylogenetic diversity analysis; the similarity of these cloned genes to known β-lactam resistance genes with sequence identities ranged from 96% to 100%. Furthermore, OXA-1, ampC, and IMP were found to be more diverse than the other β-lactam resistance genes.
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 12/2011; 95(5):1351-8. · 3.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A carcinogenic risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in source water and drinking water of China was conducted using probabilistic techniques from a national perspective. The published monitoring data of PAHs were gathered and converted into BaP equivalent (BaP(eq)) concentrations. Based on the transformed data, comprehensive risk assessment was performed by considering different age groups and exposure pathways. Monte Carlo simulation and sensitivity analysis were applied to quantify uncertainties of risk estimation. The risk analysis indicated that, the risk values for children and teens were lower than the accepted value (1.00E-05), indicating no significant carcinogenic risk. The probability of risk values above 1.00E-05 was 5.8% and 6.7% for adults and lifetime groups, respectively. Overall, carcinogenic risks of PAHs in source water and drinking water of China were mostly accepted. However, specific regions, such as Yellow river of Lanzhou reach and Qiantang river should be paid more attention. Notwithstanding the uncertainties inherent in the risk assessment, this study is the first attempt to provide information on carcinogenic risk of PAHs in source water and drinking water of China, and might be useful for potential strategies of carcinogenic risk management and reduction.
Science of The Total Environment 12/2011; 410-411:112-8. · 3.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study assessed the effects of microcystin-LR (MC-LR) exposure on matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) expression and cancer cell migration. After male mice were orally administered with different concentrations of MC-LR for 270 d, histopathologic observation revealed an obvious hepatic lymphocyte infiltration or fatty degeneration. Immunohistochemical staining and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay demonstrated that MC-LR treatment (even at 1 nM) caused up-regulated expressions of hepatic MMP-2/-9. Quantitative reverse-transcriptase PCR showed that the exposure to 80 nM MC-LR induced an increase of MMP-2/-9 mRNA levels by 1.0 and 1.9 fold. Breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-435s) were also cultured with MC-LR solutions and a wound healing assay demonstrated that MC-LR posed a time/dose-dependent stimulation effect on migration of the cancer cells. Gelatin electrophoresis and quantitative PCR showed significant increases in cellular MMP-2/-9 expressions after MC-LR exposure. This study indicated that chronic exposure to MC-LR could alter MMP-2/-9 expressions and stimulate cancer cell migration.
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 11/2011; 77:88-93. · 2.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The overuse or misuse of antibiotics has accelerated antibiotic resistance, creating a major challenge for the public health in the world. Sewage treatment plants (STPs) are considered as important reservoirs for antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and activated sludge characterized with high microbial density and diversity facilitates ARG horizontal gene transfer (HGT) via mobile genetic elements (MGEs). However, little is known regarding the pool of ARGs and MGEs in sludge microbiome. In this study, the transposon aided capture (TRACA) system was employed to isolate novel plasmids from activated sludge of one STP in Hong Kong, China. We also used Illumina Hiseq 2000 high-throughput sequencing and metagenomics analysis to investigate the plasmid metagenome. Two novel plasmids were acquired from the sludge microbiome by using TRACA system and one novel plasmid was identified through metagenomics analysis. Our results revealed high levels of various ARGs as well as MGEs for HGT, including integrons, transposons and plasmids. The application of the TRACA system to isolate novel plasmids from the environmental metagenome, coupled with subsequent high-throughput sequencing and metagenomic analysis, highlighted the prevalence of ARGs and MGEs in microbial community of STPs.
PLoS ONE 10/2011; 6(10):e26041. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A probability risk assessment of anthracene, benzo(a)pyrene, chrysene, fluorene, phenanthrene and pyrene was carried out to examine the ecological risk of these six polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in aquatic ecosystems in China. The literature on PAH concentrations in surface water in China was collected to evaluate the environmental exposure concentrations (EEC). The 10th percentile of predicted no observed effect concentration (PNEC(10%)) of PAHs, calculated according to the data from the USEPA AQUIRE database and regulatory reviews, was applied as the toxicity assessment endpoint. The ratio of EEC and PNEC(10%), expressed as a risk quotient (RQ), was used to characterize the risk value. Bootstrapping method and Monte Carlo simulation were utilized to calculate the distribution of EEC, PNEC(10%), RQ and associated uncertainties. Risk assessment showed that reliable maximum RQs of anthracene, benzo(a)pyrene, chrysene, fluorene and phenanthrene were in the range of 0.064-0.755, lower than the acceptable value of 1. However, the reliable maximum RQ of pyrene was 1.39, indicating its potential ecological risk. Notwithstanding the uncertainty, these results suggest that the aquatic ecosystems with high PAH concentrations might pose potential ecological risks, and concerted efforts are required to ensure that surface water is protected.