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Paula M L Castro

Paula M L Castro
Universidade Católica Portuguesa - Escola Superior de Biotecnologia

PhD in Biotechnology

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457
Publications
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Publications

Publications (457)
Article
Full-text available
The pollution of water resources by pesticides poses serious problems for public health and the environment. In this study, Actinobacteria strains were isolated from three wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and were screened for their ability to degrade 17 pesticide compounds. Preliminary screening of 13 of the isolates of Actinobacteria allowed t...
Article
Full-text available
Endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) in the environment are considered a motif of concern, due to the widespread occurrence and potential adverse ecological and human health effects. The natural estrogen, 17β-estradiol (E2), is frequently detected in receiving water bodies after not being efficiently removed in conventional wastewater treatment pl...
Article
Dyed effluents from textile industry are toxic and difficult to treat by conventional methods and biotechnological approaches are generally considered more environmentally friendly. In this work, yeast strains Candida parapsilosis, Yarrowia lipolytica and Candida pseudoglaebosa, isolated from wastewater treatment plants, were tested for their abili...
Article
To avoid toxic ammonium and nitrite concentrations in aquaculture systems is crucial to maintain the fish production. When recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) operate in freshwater farms during the dry seasons, the concentrations of these pollutants increase. The objective of the present study is the evaluation of a Continuous Flow Granular Rea...
Article
Full-text available
Wastewater from the food industry is increasingly recognized as a valuable source of energy and as a resource for new products and not as waste. The reutilization and valorization of wastewater contributes to combating water scarcity and to improve the energetic efficiency of treatment facilities. Moreover, it has the added benefit of reducing envi...
Article
Full-text available
Water contaminated with microbiological and chemical constituents can cause a variety of diseases. Water bodies may become contaminated by wild and domestic animal feces, agricultural runoff or sewage, and are often overlooked as a reservoir and source of human infection by pathogenic microorganisms. The objectives of this study were to evaluate th...
Article
Full-text available
The mining industry is of major importance to Morocco’s economy. However, the abandoned pyritic mines are a source of potentially toxic elements that can cause the disruption of the surrounding ecosystems, constituting a huge threat to wellbeing and human health. The present study aimed to analyze the physical and chemical characteristics of differ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Tailings are generally characterized by severe physicochemical conditions that limit the establishment of vegetation. The present study aimed to select suitable combinations of organo-mineral amendments to improve the physicochemical, biochemical, and biological properties of spolic technosols, highly contaminated with metals. Materials an...
Article
An aerobic granular sludge (AGS) sequencing batch reactor (SBR) adapted to salinity (12 g L⁻¹ NaCl) was operated under alternating anaerobic-aerobic conditions for the treatment of synthetic saline wastewater containing endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), namely 17β–estradiol (E2), 17α–ethinylestradiol (EE2) and bisphenol-A (BPA). The SBR was in...
Article
Quantitative image analysis (QIA) is a simple and automated method for process monitoring, complementary to chemical analysis, that when coupled to mathematical modelling allows associating changes in the biomass to several operational parameters. The majority of the research regarding the use of QIA has been carried out using synthetic wastewater...
Article
Full-text available
The occurrence of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) is a major issue for marine and coastal environments in the proximity of urban areas. The occurrence of EDCs in the Pearl River Delta region is well documented but specific data related to Macao is unavailable. The levels of bisphenol-A (BPA), estrone (E1), 17α-estradiol (αE2), 17β-estradiol (...
Article
Aims: Microalgae are ubiquitous in aquatic environments, including aquaculture farms, but few studies have delved into their phytoplankton diversity and bioremediation potential. In this study, the cultivable phytoplankton of a rainbow trout freshwater aquaculture farm was isolated, phylogenetically analysed and used to assemble a consortium to po...
Article
Full-text available
Aerobic granular sludge (AGS) processes are among the most robust wastewater treatments. One of their greatest advantages is related to the granules multi-layered structure, which creates a protective barrier against organic shock loads and variable wastewater composition, particularly attractive for the treatment of industrial wastewater. However,...
Article
Full-text available
The growing loss of soil functionality due to contamination by metal(loid)s, alone or in combination with organic pollutants, is a global environmental issue that entails major risks to ecosystems and human health. Consequently, the management and restructuring of large metal(loid)-polluted areas through sustainable nature-based solutions is curren...
Patent
The present description refers to a new composite material based on woody materials and mycelium, obtaining methods and uses thereof, namely in the field of furniture and coatings.
Article
Ammonium and nitrite levels in water are crucial for fish health preservation and growth maintenance in freshwater aquaculture farms, limiting water recirculation. The aim of the present work is the evaluation and comparison of two granular sludge reactors which were operated to treat freshwater aquaculture streams at laboratory-scale: an Aerobic G...
Article
Diclofenac is a worldwide consumed drug included in the watch list of substances to be monitored according to the European Union Water Framework Directive (Directive 2013/39/EU). Aerobic granular sludge sequencing batch reactors (AGS-SBR) are increasingly used for wastewater treatment but there is scant information on the fate and effect of micropo...
Article
Full-text available
The present study was undertaken in a constructed wetland (CW), setup in a tourism house, for domestic wastewater treatment. The influence of season variations on the abundance of fecal indicator organisms (total coliforms and Escherichia coli) in the wastewater and in the substrate and the roots of plants inhabiting the inlet and outlet zones of t...
Article
Full-text available
The presence of toxic compounds in wastewater can cause problems for organic matter and nutrient removal. In this study, the long-term effect of a model xenobiotic, 2-fluorophenol (2-FP), on ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB), nitrite oxidizing bacteria (NOB) and phosphate accumulating organisms (PAO) in aerobic granular sludge was investigated. Phos...
Article
In this study, a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) with aerobic granular sludge (AGS) was operated with synthetic wastewater containing environmental relevant concentrations of 17β-estradiol (E2), 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) and sulfamethoxazole (SMX). Despite the presence of the studied PhAC, the granular fraction clearly predominated (TSSgran/TSS ran...
Article
Full-text available
This work is focused on the valorization of brewer’s spent grains (BSG) into volatile fatty acids (VFA) through acidogenic fermentation. VFAs are building blocks for several applications, such as bioplastics’ production. Using acid hydrolysis as pre-treatment, several batch assays were performed and the impact of organic load (OL) and pH on VFA pro...
Article
Industrial effluents often contain organic pollutants and variable salinity levels, making their treatment chal- lenging. The high content of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) in the aerobic granular sludge (AGS) is thought to protect the microbial communities from stressful conditions. Ammonium and phosphate removal, EPS production, and gra...
Article
The tolerance of aerobic granular sludge (AGS) to variable wastewater composition is perceived as one of its greatest advantages compared to other aerobic processes. However, research studies select optimal operational conditions for evaluating AGS performance, such as the use of pre-adapted biomass and the control of wastewater composition. In thi...
Article
An increasing amount of industrial chemicals are being released into wastewater collection systems and indigenous microbial communities in treatment plants are not always effective for their removal. In this work, extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) recovered from aerobic granular sludge (AGS) were used as a natural carrier to immobilize a spe...
Article
Iron deficiency results in severe yield losses, particularly in calcareous soils. Recent evidences suggest that biofertilizers with plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) may be an efficient strategy for enhancing iron (Fe) nutrition in legumes. This work aimed at evaluating the capacity of PGPR strains to enhance Fe uptake-related processes i...
Article
Full-text available
Drought is one of the major abiotic stresses that affects crop yield worldwide. An eco-friendly tool that can broadly improve plants' tolerance to water stress is bioionocula comprising plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR). In this study, the effect of two PGPR Cupriavidus necator 1C2 (B1) and Pseudomonas fluorescens S3X (B2), singly and/or...
Article
Mine tailings pose a huge hazard for environmental and human health, and the establishment of vegetation cover is crucial to reduce pollutant dispersion for the surroundings. However, their hostile physicochemical conditions hamper plant growth, compromising phytoremediation strategies. This study aims to investigate the role of organo-mineral amen...
Article
Within the framework of the circular economy, there is a need for waste management alternatives that promote the reuse of materials produced in wastewater treatment plants (WWTP). An interesting option is the recovery of extracellular substances from sludge. The variability of characteristics of potential recovered bioproducts has to be assessed in...
Article
Antibiotics are the most consumed therapeutic classes worldwide and are released to the environment in their original form as well as potentially active metabolites and/or degradation products. Consequences of the occurrence of these compounds in the environment are primarily related to bacterial resistance development. This work presents a validat...
Article
Full-text available
World population growth, together with climate changes and increased hidden hunger, bring an urgent need for finding sustainable and eco-friendly agricultural approaches to improve crop yield and nutritional value. The existing methodologies for enhancing the concentration of bioavailable micronutrients in edible crop tissues (i.e., biofortificatio...
Chapter
This chapter provides a perspective to the current state of art of iron (Fe) nutrition in legume crops. It explores the available agronomic and biotechnological tools for Fe delivery, focusing on the application of plant growth‐promoting bacteria and Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi as hidden‐hunger and climate changes emerge. Fe also plays a key role...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Mining areas are low-quality habitats for macro- and microorganisms’ development, mainly due to the degradation of the soil quality by metal pollution. The present work aimed to analyze the influence of metal contamination and of plant species on the rhizospheric microbial communities of four indigenous metallophytes (Ononis natrix, Haloxyl...
Chapter
The advent of the industrial revolution has boosted human and technological development, but at a price. Contaminants have been increasingly accumulating across wider areas scattered around the world, making pollution a major planetary issue. Among these pollutants, those related to industrial waste are perhaps the most threatening due to their bro...
Chapter
Pisolithus tinctorius (Pers.) Coker and Couch (Syn.p P. arhizus [Scop.: Pers.] Rauschert) is an ectomycorrhizal fungus that interacts with some of the most important tree genera from temperate forests. In this chapter, we focus on the current knowledge about the beneficial role of P. tinctorius on its host plants. P. tinctorius has an overall posit...
Article
Salt-affected soils are a major problem worldwide for crop production. Bioinocula such as plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can help plants to thrive in these areas but interactions between them and with soil conditions can modulate the effects on their host. To test potential synergistic effects of bioin...
Article
Full-text available
The present research intended to investigate the toxicity abatement of domestic wastewater after passing a biosystem composed of a constructed wetland (CW) followed by a pond. The wastewater was generated in a tourism house in a rural and mountainous context and passed through a septic tank before being diverted to a CW followed by a pond. A batter...
Article
Full-text available
Urban trees provide many ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration, air quality improvement, storm water attenuation and energy conservation, to people living in cities. Provisioning of ecosystem services by urban trees, however, may be jeopardized by the typically poor quality of the soils in urban areas. Given their well-known multifunct...
Article
FREE TO DOWNLOAD FOR 50 DAYS AT: https://authors.elsevier.com/c/1ZjpY7tGO~9x0l The increased use of fertilisers is a well-known problem; linked to this, there is an always higher demand for phosphorus (P). Because of this, it is crucial to use P from all possible sources and, if necessary, turn it into a soluble form, available for plants/crops. In...
Article
Aerobic granular sludge (AGS) is considered a promising technology for wastewater treatment. Furthermore, it is recognized that the stability of the process is related to the balanced growth of the suspended (floccular) and granular fractions. Therefore, the development of adequate techniques to monitor this balance is of interest. In this work the...
Article
Full-text available
Constructed wetlands (CWs) are biological wastewater treatment systems that comprise several components where plants and associated organisms play an important role in water depuration. Microbial studies emphasize bacterial dynamics, whereas studies of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are scarce and the functional role of AMF in aquatic and wetla...
Article
The occurrence of pharmaceuticals in the environment is a topic of concern. Carbamazepine (CBZ) is a widespread antiepileptic drug and due to its physical-chemical characteristics minimal removal is achieved in conventional water treatments, and thus has been suggested as a molecular marker of wastewater contamination in surface water and groundwat...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Due to their close proximity with the population, urban soils are extensively affected by human activities that release considerable technogenic inputs resulting in an overall soil degradation and leading to an increase of water-extractable fraction of trace elements. This work aimed to determine the influence of anthropization on trace and...
Article
Full-text available
Urban trees play a key role in mitigating environmental problems in cities, but they often face harsh environmental conditions as they generally grow in sealed soils that have small rooting space and low water availability. In this context, rapid monitoring and assessment of tree health status is critical to maintain urban trees and secure the prov...
Article
Full-text available
Studies on the functional significance of bacteria associated with ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi are scarce, as well as information on the metabolism of the host plant when in symbiosis with ECM fungi. Here we intended to evaluate the phenolic profile of seedlings when associated with Bacillus subtilis (B1), Pisolithus tinctorius (Pis) and their comb...
Chapter
Environmental contamination by fluorinated organic compounds is an issue of major concern due to their widespread use and recalcitrance to degradation. The susceptibility of fluorinated pollutants to biodegradation, a major route for the removal of such pollutants from different environmental compartments, is affected by the molecule structure, nam...
Article
Full-text available
Trees in urban areas face harsh environmental conditions. Ectomycorrhizal fungi (EcM) form a symbiosis with many tree species and provide a range of benefits to their host through their extraradical hyphal network. Although our understanding of the environmental drivers and large scale geographical variation of EcM communities in natural ecosystems...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Through the proper phytomanagement of contaminated sites, soil structural and functional microbial biodiversity can be restored, thereby enhancing soil functionality and the provision of vital ecosystem services. Here, a network of sites (located in Spain, France and Portugal) contaminated by metal(loid)s and organic compounds were subjected to a v...
Article
Full-text available
Diclofenac (DCF) is one of the most detected pharmaceuticals in environmental water matrices and is known to be recalcitrant to conventional wastewater treatment plants. In this study, degradation of DCF was performed in water by photolysis and photocatalysis using a new synthetized photocatalyst based on hydroxyapatite and TiO2 (HApTi). A degradat...
Article
Diclofenac (DCF) is one of the most detected pharmaceuticals in environmental water matrices and is known to be recalcitrant to conventional wastewater treatment plants. In this study, degradation of DCF was performed in water by photolysis and photocatalysis using a new synthetized photocatalyst based on hydroxyapatite and TiO 2 (HApTi). A degrada...
Article
Heavy metals in urban soils may impose a threat to public health and may negatively affect urban tree viability. Vegetation spectroscopy techniques applied to bio-indicators bring new opportunities to characterize heavy metal contamination, without being constrained by laborious soil sampling and lab-based sample processing. Here we used Tilia tome...
Article
Sardine by-products generated during canning process entail a potential opportunity to drive them into a chain of high added-value compounds, while simultaneously decreasing the environmental impact of their discharge. This paper describes and discusses the biochemical variation of solid and liquid by-products generated during the canning process o...
Article
The contamination of the soil with heavy metals (e.g. Zn) is a serious and crosscutting issue worldwide. Phytotechnologies can minimize the negative impact of this problem using plants and microorganisms in soil rehabilitation. However, the efficiency of proper plant-microbe combinations is usually assessed using spiked and/or sterilized soils, whi...
Article
The use of waste materials and by-products in building materials is of increasing importance to improve sustainability in construction, as is the incorporation of photocatalytic materials to both combat atmospheric pollution and protect the structures and façades. This work reports the innovative use of photocatalytic hydroxyapatite (HAp) based pow...