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heavy metals - Top 30 Publications

Bacterial community structure and abundances of antibiotic resistance genes in heavy metals contaminated agricultural soil.

Soil contamination with heavy metals is a worldwide problem especially in China. The interrelation of soil bacterial community structure, antibiotic resistance genes, and heavy metal contamination in soil is still unclear. Here, seven agricultural areas (G1-G7) with heavy metal contamination were sampled with different distances (741 to 2556 m) to the factory. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and Shannon index were used to analyze bacterial community diversity. Real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR was used to detect the relative abundance of ARGs sul1, sul2, tetA, tetM, tetW, one mobile genetic elements (MGE) inti1. Results showed that all samples were polluted by Cadmium (Cd), and some of them were polluted by lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), arsenic (As), copper (Cu), and zinc (Zn). DGGE showed that the most abundant bacterial species were found in G7 with the lightest heavy metal contamination. The results of the principal component analysis and clustering analysis both showed that G7 could not be classified with other samples. The relative abundance of sul1 was correlated with Cu, Zn concentration. Gene sul2 are positively related with total phosphorus, and tetM was associated with organic matter. Total gene abundances and relative abundance of inti1 both correlated with organic matter. Redundancy analysis showed that Zn and sul2 were significantly related with bacterial community structure. Together, our results indicate a complex linkage between soil heavy metal concentration, bacterial community composition, and some global disseminated ARG abundance.

Analysis of Economic and Environmental Aspects of Microalgae Biorefinery for Biofuels Production: A Review.

Microalgae are considered promising feedstock for the production of biofuels and other bioactive compounds, yet there are still challenges on commercial applications of microalgae-based products. This review focuses on the economic analysis, environmental impact and industrial potential of biofuels production from microalgae. The cost of biofuels production remains higher compared to conventional fuel sources. However, integration of biorefinery pathways with biofuels production for the recovery of value-added products (such as antioxidants, natural dyes, cosmetics, nutritional supplements, polyunsaturated fatty acids and so forth) could substantially reduce the production costs. It also paves the way for sustainable energy resources by significantly reducing the emissions of CO2 , NOx , SOx , and heavy metals. Large-scale biofuels production has yet to be successfully commercialized with many roadblocks ahead and heavy competition with conventional fuel feedstock as well as technological aspects. One of the prominent challenges is to develop a cost-effective method to achieve high-density microalgal cultivation on an industrial scale. The biofuels industry should be boosted by Government's support in the form of subsidies and incentives, for addressing the pressing climate change issues, achieving sustainability and energy security.

Historical atmospheric pollution trends in Southeast Asia inferred from lake sediment records.

Fossil fuel combustion leads to increased levels of air pollution, which negatively affects human health as well as the environment. Documented data for Southeast Asia (SEA) show a strong increase in fossil fuel consumption since 1980, but information on coal and oil combustion before 1980 is not widely available. Spheroidal carbonaceous particles (SCPs) and heavy metals, such as mercury (Hg), are emitted as by-products of fossil fuel combustion and may accumulate in sediments following atmospheric fallout. Here we use sediment SCP and Hg records from several freshwater lentic ecosystems in SEA (Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore) to reconstruct long-term, region-wide variations in levels of these two key atmospheric pollution indicators. The age-depth models of Philippine sediment cores do not reach back far enough to date first SCP presence, but single SCP occurrences are first observed between 1925 and 1950 for a Malaysian site. Increasing SCP flux is observed at our sites from 1960 onward, although individual sites show minor differences in trends. SCP fluxes show a general decline after 2000 at each of our study sites. While the records show broadly similar temporal trends across SEA, absolute SCP fluxes differ between sites, with a record from Malaysia showing SCP fluxes that are two orders of magnitude lower than records from the Philippines. Similar trends in records from China and Japan represent the emergence of atmospheric pollution as a broadly-based inter-region environmental problem during the 20th century. Hg fluxes were relatively stable from the second half of the 20th century onward. As catchment soils are also contaminated with atmospheric Hg, future soil erosion can be expected to lead to enhanced Hg flux into surface waters.

Development of mixed bacterial cultures DAK11 capable for degrading mixture of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are ubiquitous and persistent pollutants having mutagenic and carcinogenic properties. Microbial metabolism is an alternative approach for removal of PAHs from polluted environment. Mixed bacterial cultures DAK11 capable for degrading mixture of PAHs was developed from long term polluted marine sediments. DAK11 was able to degrade 500 mg/L of mixture of four PAHs and their degradation efficiency was enhanced by supplementing commercially available NPK fertilizer (0.1%, w/v). Anionic surfactant SDS has enhanced the degradation of PAHs, but DAK11 growth was inhibited in presence of cationic surfactant CTAB. Heavy metals have decreased the rate of degradation, while it was completely inhibited in the presence of Zn2+ and CrO42- (1mM). DAK11 was able to degrade PAHs in the presence of mono-aromatic hydrocarbons, lubricant oil and diesel. Lower molecular weight aromatic and aliphatic compounds were identified using GC-MS during metabolism of mixture of PHAs.

Phyto-management of chromium contaminated soils through sunflower under exogenously applied 5-aminolevulinic acid.

Soil contamination with heavy metals is threatening the food security around the globe. Chromium (Cr) contamination results in poor quality and reduction in yield of crops. The present research was performed to figure out the Cr toxicity in sunflower and the ameliorative role of 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) as a plant growth regulator. The sunflower (FH-614) was grown under increasing concentration of Cr (0, 5, 10 and 20mgkg-1) alone and/or in combination with 5-ALA (0, 10 and 20mgL-1). Results showed that Cr suppressed the overall growth, biomass, gas exchange attributes and chlorophyll content of sunflower plants. Moreover, lower levels of Cr (5 and 10mgkg-1) increased the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and electrolyte leakage (EL) along with the activities of antioxidant enzymes i.e., superoxide dismutase (SOD), guaiacole peroxidase (POD), ascorbate (APX), catalase (CAT). But at higher concentration of Cr (20mgkg-1), the activities of these enzymes presented a declining trend. However, the addition of 5-ALA significantly alleviated the Cr-induced toxicity in sunflower plant and enhanced the plant growth and biomass parameters along with increased chlorophyll content, gas exchange attributes, soluble proteins and soil plant analysis development (SPAD) values by scavenging the ROS and lowering down the EL. The 5-ALA also enhanced the activities of antioxidant enzymes at all levels of Cr. The increase in Cr concentration in all plant parts such as leaf, root and stem was directly proportional to the Cr concentration in soil. The application of 5-ALA further enhanced the uptake of Cr and its concentration in the plants. To understand this variation in response of plants to 5-ALA, detailed studies are required on plant biochemistry and genetic modifications.

Zinc and lead detoxifying abilities of humic substances relevant to environmental bacterial species.

The effect of humic substances (HS) and their different fractions (humic acids (HA) and hymatomelanic acids (HMA)) on the toxicity of zinc and lead to different strains of bacteria was studied. All tested bacteria demonstrated a lower resistance to zinc than lead showing minimum inhibitory concentrations of 0.1 - 0.3mM and 0.3-0.5mM, respectively. The highest resistance to lead was characteristic of Pseudomonas chlororaphis PCL1391 and Rhodococcus RS67, while Pseudomonas chlororaphis PCL1391 showed the greatest resistance to zinc. The combined fractions of HS and HA alone reduced zinc toxicity at all added concentrations of the organic substances (50 - 200mgL-1) to all microorganisms, while hymatomelanic acids reduced zinc toxicity to Pseudomonas chlororaphis PCL1391 at 200mgL-1 organic concentration only. The HS fractions imparted similar effects on lead toxicity also. This study demonstrated that heavy metal toxicity to bacteria could be reduced through complexation with HS and their fractions. This was particularly true when the metal-organic complexes held a high stability, and low solubility and bioavailability.

Recent advancements in bioremediation of dye: Current status and challenges.

The rampant industrialization and unchecked growth of modern textile production facilities coupled with the lack of proper treatment facilities have proliferated the discharge of effluents enriched with toxic, baleful, and carcinogenic pollutants including dyes, heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, odorants, and other hazardous materials. Therefore, the development of cost-effective and efficient control measures against such pollution is imperative to safeguard ecosystems and natural resources. In this regard, recent advances in biotechnology and microbiology have propelled bioremediation as a prospective alternative to traditional treatment methods. This review was organized to address bioremediation as a practical option for the treatment of dyes by evaluating its performance and typical attributes. It further highlights the current hurdles and future prospects for the abatement of dyes via biotechnology-based remediation techniques.

Bio-prospectus of cadmium bioadsorption by lactic acid bacteria to mitigate health and environmental impacts.

Foodstuffs and water are the key sources of cadmium biomagnifiaction. The available strategies to mitigate this problem are unproductive and expensive for practical large-scale use. Biological decontamination of metals through environmental microbes has been known since long time, whereas lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have not been extensively studied for this purpose. The LAB are known for maintaining homeostasis and suppression of pathogens in humans and animals. They also play a vital role in bioremediation of certain heavy metals. Recently in-vivo research findings strongly complement the in-vitro results in relation to decreased total body cadmium burden in animal model. This review summarizes the currently available information on impact of toxic metal (Cd) on human and animal health as well as cadmium sequestration through microbes placed broadly, whereas preeminent attention grabbed on LAB-cadmium interaction to explore their possible role in bioremediation of cadmium from foods and environment to safeguard human as well as environment health.

Meta-analysis of soil mercury accumulation by vegetables.

Mercury pollution in soil poses serious risks to human health through consumption of contaminated vegetables. We used a meta-analysis to examine the mercury enrichment ability of different vegetables and the main factors affecting mercury uptake. We drew the following conclusions. (1) Plants with a lower bioconcentration factor (BCF) include cowpea, long bean, and radish, whereas plants with a higher BCF include green pepper, spinach, cabbage, and Chinese cabbage. (2) Leaf and cucurbit have the highest and lowest capacity, respectively, for mercury enrichment. (3) When soil pH is <6.5, mercury level uptake by the plant increases, whereas it decreases when the pH is >7.5, meaning that increased soil pH reduces mercury uptake in soil. (4) When soil organic matter (SOM) is lower than 20 g/kg, tuber plants have the highest and eggplant has the lowest mercury adsorption capacity, respectively. When SOM is 20-30 g/kg, cucurbit has the lowest and leaf the highest adsorption capacity, respectively. When SOM is higher than 30 g/kg, however, eggplant has the highest mercury adsorption capacity, but there were no significant differences among the five types of vegetables. We argue that this meta-analysis aids in selecting vegetables suitable for absorption of heavy metals from polluted soil.

Analysis of metal tolerance in Rhizobium leguminosarum strains isolated from an ultramafic soil.

Natural habitats containing high amounts of heavy metals provide a valuable source of bacteria adapted to deal with metal toxicity. A functional analysis of the population of legume endosymbiotic bacteria in an ultramafic soil was undertaken by studying a collection of Rhizobium leguminosarum bv viciae (Rlv) isolates obtained using pea as trap plant. One of the isolates, Rlv UPM1137, was selected on the basis of its higher tolerance to nickel and cobalt and presence of inducible mechanisms for such tolerance. A random transposon mutagenesis of Rlv UPM1137 allowed the generation of fourteen transposant derivatives with increased nickel sensitivity; five of these transposants were also more sensitive to cobalt. Sequencing of the insertion sites revealed that one of the transposants (D2250) was affected in a gene homologous to the Cation Diffusion Facilitator (CDF) gene dmeF first identified in the metal-resistant bacterium Cupriavidus metallidurans CH34. The symbiotic performance of D2250 and two other transposants bearing single transposon insertions was unaffected under high metal conditions, suggesting that, in contrast to previous observations in other Rlv strain, metal tolerance in UPM1137 under symbiotic conditions might be supported by functional redundancy between several mechanisms.

Investigating the mechanisms underlying phytoprotection by plant-growth promoting rhizobacteria in Spartina densiflora under metal stress.

Pollution of coasts by toxic metals and metalloids is a worldwide problem for which phytoremediation using halophytes and associated microbiomes is getting relevance. Metal(loid)s excess is a constraint for plant establishment and development, and plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) mitigate plant stress under these conditions. However, mechanisms underlying this effect remain elusive. In this paper, the effect of toxic metal(loid)s on the activity of ROS-scavenging enzymes in roots of the halophyte Spartina densiflora grown on real polluted sediments in a green house experiment, was investigated. Metal excess induced superoxide dismutase (5-folds increase), whereas catalase and ascorbate peroxidase displayed minor inductions (less that 2-fold). Moreover, 2-folds increase of TBARs (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances) indicated membrane damage. Our results showed that metal-resistant PGPR (Pantoea agglomerans RSO6 and RSO7, and Bacillus aryabhattai RSO25) contributed to alleviate metal stress, as deduced from lower levels of all antioxidant enzymes down to levels below those of non-exposed plants. The oxidative stress index (OSI), an overall parameter of the oxidative stress, decreased between 50 and 75% upon inoculation. Besides, the results evidenced the important role of phenylalanine ammonium lyase (PAL), involved in secondary metabolism and/or lignin synthesis, as a pathway for metal stress management in this halophyte upon inoculation with appropriate PGPR, since the different inoculation treatments enhanced PAL expression between 3.75 and 5-folds. Our data confirm, at the molecular level, the role of PGPR in alleviating metal stress in S. densiflora and evidence the difficulty of working with halophytes for which little genetic information is available. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Magnetic, geochemical characterization and health risk assessment of road dust in Xuanwei and Fuyuan, China.

As an accumulation of solid organic and inorganic pollutant particles on outdoor ground surfaces, road dust is an important carrier of heavy metal contaminants and can be a valuable medium for characterizing urban environmental quality. Because the dusts can be an important source of atmospheric particles and take impact on human health, the aim of this study described in detail the mineralogical characteristics, morphology, and heavy metal content of road dust from Xuanwei and Fuyuan, locations with high lung cancer incidence. Our results show that the average concentrations of heavy metals in road dust were higher than their background values. Higher concentrations of heavy metals were found in the magnetic fractions (MFs) than in the non-magnetic fractions (NMFs). Magnetic measurements revealed high magnetic susceptibility values in the road dust samples, and the dominant magnetic carrier was magnetite. The magnetic grains were predominantly pseudo-single domain, multi-domain, and coarse-grained stable single domains (coarse SSD) in size. SEM/XRD analysis identified two groups of magnetic particles: spherules and angular/aggregate particles. Hazard index (HI) values for adults exposure to road dust samples, including MF, Bulk, and NMF, in both areas were lower or close to safe levels, while HI values for childhood exposure to magnetic fractions in both areas were very close or higher than safe levels. Cancer risks from road dust exposure in both areas were in the acceptable value range.

Environmental and Body Concentrations of Heavy Metals at Sites Near and Distant from Industrial Complexes in Ulsan, Korea.

Industrial pollution may affect the heavy metal body burden of people living near industrial complexes. We determined the average concentrations of atmospheric heavy metals in areas close to and distant from industrial complexes in Korea, and the body concentrations of these heavy metals in residents living near and distant from these facilities.

Alleviation of iron toxicity in Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi (Anacardiaceae) by humic substances.

One of the industrial pillars of Espírito Santo state, South East of Brazil, is iron-mining products processing. This activity brings to a high level of coastal pollution due to deposition of iron particulate on fragile ecosystems as mangroves and restinga. Schinus therebinthifolius (aroeira) is a widespread restinga species. This work tested iron toxicity alleviation by vermicompost humic substances (HS) added to aroeira seedlings in hydroponic conditions. Catalase, peroxidase, and ascorbate peroxidase are antioxidant enzymes that work as reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavengers: they increase their activity as an answer to ROS concentration rise that is the consequence of metal accumulation or humic substance stimulation. S. terebinthifolius seedlings treated with HS and Fe augmented their antioxidant enzyme activities significantly less than seedlings treated separately with HS and Fe; their significantly lower Fe accumulation and the slight increase of root and leaf area confirm the biostimulating effect of HS and their role in blocking Fe excess outside the roots. The use of HS can be useful for the recovery of areas contaminated by heavy metals.

Elemental assessment of vegetation via portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF) spectrometry.

Elemental concentrations in vegetation are of critical importance, whether establishing plant essential element concentrations (toxicity vs. deficiency) or investigating deleterious elements (e.g., heavy metals) differentially extracted from the soil by plants. Traditionally, elemental analysis of vegetation has been facilitated by acid digestion followed by quantification via inductively coupled plasma (ICP) or atomic absorption (AA) spectroscopy. Previous studies have utilized portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF) spectroscopy to quantify elements in soils, but few have evaluated the vegetation. In this study, a PXRF spectrometer was employed to scan 228 organic material samples (thatch, deciduous leaves, grasses, tree bark, and herbaceous plants) from smelter-impacted areas of Romania, as well as National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) certified reference materials, to demonstrate the application of PXRF for elemental determination in vegetation. Samples were scanned in three conditions: as received from the field (moist), oven dry (70 °C), and dried and powdered to pass a 2 mm sieve. Performance metrics of PXRF models relative to ICP atomic emission spectroscopy were developed to asses optimal scanning conditions. Thatch and bark samples showed the highest mean PXRF and ICP concentrations (e.g., Zn, Pb, Cd, Fe), with the exceptions of K and Cl. Validation statistics indicate that the stable validation predictive capacity of PXRF increased in the following order: oven dry intact < field moist < oven dried and powdered. Even under field moist conditions, PXRF could reasonably be used for the determination of Zn (coefficient of determination, R2val 0.86; residual prediction deviation, RPD 2.72) and Cu (R2val 0.77; RPD 2.12), while dried and powdered samples allowed for stable validation prediction of Pb (R2val 0.90; RPD 3.29), Fe (R2val 0.80; RPD 2.29), Cd (R2val 0.75; RPD 2.07) and Cu (R2val 0.98; RPD of 8.53). Summarily, PXRF was shown to be a useful approach for quickly assessing the elemental concentration in vegetation. Future PXRF/vegetation research should explore additional elements and investigate its usefulness in evaluating phytoremediation effectiveness.

Enhanced biosorption of Transition metals by living Chlorella vulgaris immobilized in Ca-alginate beads.

In this study freely suspended and Ca-alginate immobilized C. vulgaris cells were used for the biosorption of Fe(II), Mn(II), and Zn(II) ions, from the aqueous solution. Experimental data showed that biosorption capacity of algal cells was strongly dependent on the operational condition such as pH, initial metal ions concentration, dosages, contact time and temperature. The maximum biosorption of Fe(II) 43.43, Mn(II) 40.98 and Zn(II) 37.43 mg/g was achieved with Ca-alginate immobilized algal cells at optimum pH of 6.0, algal cells dosage 0.6 g/L, and contact time of 450 min at room temperature. The biosorption efficiency of freely suspended and immobilized C. vulgaris cells for heavy metals removal from the industrial wastewater was validated. Modeling of biosorption kinetics showed good agreements with pseudo-second-order. Langmuir and D-R isotherm models exhibited the best fit of experimental data. The thermodynamic parameters (ΔGo, ΔHo, and ΔSo) revealed that the biosorption of considered metal ions was feasible, spontaneous and exothermic at 25-45oC. The SEM showed porous morphology which greatly helps in the biosorption of heavy metals. The FTIR and XPS data spectra indicated that the functional groups predominately involved in the biosorption were C-N, -OH, COO-, -CH, C=C, C=S and -C-. These results shows that immobilized algal cells in alginate beads could potentially enhance the biosorption of considered metal ions than freely suspended cells. Furthermore, the biosorbent has significantly removed heavy metals from industrial wastewater at the optimized condition.

Accumulation of Heavy Metals in Tea Leaves and Potential Health Risk Assessment: A Case Study from Puan County, Guizhou Province, China.

This study features a survey of the concentrations of aluminum (Al) and heavy metals (Mn, Pb, Cd, Hg, As, Cr, Ni, Cu, and Zn) in tea leaves and the corresponding cultivation soils (0-30 cm), carried out in Puan County (Guizhou Province, China). The average concentrations of Al, Mn, Pb, Cd, Hg, As, Cr, Ni, Cu, and Zn in the soil were 106 × 10³, 214, 20.9, 0.09, 0.12, 17.5, 121, 27.8, 131.2, and 64 mg·kg-1, respectively. The heavy metals' pollution indexes in the soil can be ranked as follows: Cu > Cr > Hg > As > Ni > Zn > Pb > Mn > Cd. The soil was moderately polluted by Cu because of the high geochemical background value of Cu in the area. The potential environment risk index (RI) showed that 7.69% out of the total sample sites were within the moderate level. Moreover, the ranges of Al, Mn, Pb, Cd, Hg, As, Cr, Ni, Cu, and Zn concentrations in young tea leaves were 250-660, 194-1130, 0.107-0.400, 0.012-0.092, 0.014-0.085, 0.073-0.456, 0.33-1.26, 6.33-14.90, 14.90-26.10, and 35.8-50.3 mg·kg-1, respectively. While in mature tea leaves, they were 4300-10,400, 536-4610, 0.560-1.265, 0.040-0.087, 0.043-0.089, 0.189-0.453, 0.69-2.91, 3.43-14.20, 6.17-16.25, and 9.1-20.0 mg·kg-1, respectively. Furthermore, the concentrations of Pb, Cu, As, Hg, Cd, and Cr in young tea leaves and mature tea leaves were all lower than the standard limit values (5.0, 30, 2.0, 0.3, 1.0, and 5.0 mg·kg-1 for Pb, Cu, As, Hg, Cd, and Cr, respectively) in China. Besides, the accumulation ability of tea leaves to Mn was the strongest, and the average bioconcentration factor (BCF) of Mn in mature tea leaves was 12.5. In addition, the average target hazard quotients (THQ) were all less than one for the young tea leaves and the average aggregate risk hazard index (HI) to adults was 0.272, indicating that there was not a potential health risk for adults through the consumption of the infusions brewed by young tea leaves. However, for mature tea leaves, the percentage which HI values were above one was 38.46%, and the risk to adults via the consumption of mature tea infusions were mainly contributed by Mn and Al.

Concentrations of arsenic and lead in rice (Oryza sativa L.) in Iran: A systematic review and carcinogenic risk assessment.

Exposure to heavy metals such as arsenic (As), lead (Pb), and cadmium (Cd) in either the short or the long term can cause cancers in humans. Dietary intake and consumption of rice (Oryza sativa L.) is increasing in Iran, and several studies on the concentration of heavy metals in rice have been carried out in this country in recent years. In this perspective, the main objective of the present study was to investigate, even via a meta-analysis of the existing literature, the presence of As and Pb in rice from many geographical areas in Iran, as well as to estimate the carcinogenic risk of these heavy metals in rice consumers. The results of the present ten years-spanning systematic review indicate that 21 reports, collecting a total of 2088 samples, were performed between 2008 and October 2017. The minimum and maximum concentration of As was observed in the Golestan area (0.01 ± 0.01 mg/kg d.w) and the Gillan region (3 mg/kg d.w); and Pb in the Shahrekord (0.07 ± 0.02 mg/kg d.w) and Mazandaran (35 mg/kg d.w). The meta-analysis of data showed that pooled concentration of As in the rice was 0.04 (95%CI: 0.02-0.06 mg/kg d.w), which resulted lower than the National Standard (NS) limits. However, the pooled concentration of Pb in the rice was 0.38 (95%CI: 0.25-0.5 mg/kg d.w), i.e., higher than NS limits. The heterogeneity was significant between As (I2 = 63%, P value = .003) and Pb (I2 = 96%, P value < .001) studies. The carcinogenic risk assessment showed that minimum and maximum incremental lifetime cancer risk (ILCR) of As was in the 45-54 (4.53 × 10-2) and 15-24 (5.50 × 10-2) year age groups consumers; and Pb, 45-54 (2.442 × 10-3) and 15-24 (2.96 × 10-3), respectively. The overall carcinogenesis risk of As (4.864 × 10-2) was 18.5 times higher than Pb (2.623 × 10-3). All age groups consumers of rice content of As and Pb are at considerable carcinogenesis risk (ILCR > 10-3). Therefore a decreased level of heavy metals in rice cultivation should be encouraged and performed in next planning.

Investigating the composition characteristics of dissolved and particulate/colloidal organic matter in effluent-dominated stream using fluorescence spectroscopy combined with multivariable analysis.

Fluorescence excitation-emission matrix (EEM) spectroscopy combined with principal component analysis (PCA) and parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC) were used to investigate the compositional characteristics of dissolved and particulate/colloidal organic matter and its correlations with nitrogen, phosphorus, and heavy metals in an effluent-dominated stream, Northern China. The results showed that dissolved organic matter (DOM) was comprised of fulvic-like, humic-like, and protein-like components in the water samples, and fulvic-like substances were the main fraction of DOM among them. Particulate/colloidal organic matter (PcOM) consisted of fulvic-like and protein-like matter. Fulvic-like substances existed in the larger molecular form in PcOM, and they comprised a large amount of nitrogen and polar functional groups. On the other hand, protein-like components in PcOM were low in benzene ring and bound to heavy metals. It could be concluded that nitrogen, phosphorus, and heavy metals in effluent had an effect on the compositional characteristics of natural DOM and PcOM, which may deepen our understanding about the environmental behaviors of organic matter in effluent.

Crustacean amphipods from marsh ponds: a nutritious feed resource with potential for application in Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture.

Coastal protection, nutrient cycling, erosion control, water purification, and carbon sequestration are ecosystem services provided by salt marshes. Additionally, salt ponds offer coastal breeding and a nursery habitat for fishes and they provide abundant invertebrates, such as amphipods, which are potentially useful as a resource in aquaculture. Fishmeal and fish oil are necessary food resources to support aquaculture of carnivorous species due to their omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LC-PUFA). Currently, aquaculture depends on limited fisheries and feed with elevated n-3 LC-PUFA levels, but the development of more sustainable food sources is necessary. Amphipods appear to be a potential high quality alternative feed resource for aquaculture. Hence, a nutritional study was carried out for several main amphipod species-Microdeutopus gryllotalpa, Monocorophium acherusicum, Gammarus insensibilis, Melita palmata and Cymadusa filosa-in terrestrial ponds in the South of Spain. These species showed high protein content (up to 40%), high n-3 PUFA and phospholipid levels, and high levels of phophatidylcholine (PC), phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and triacylglycerols (TAG), the latter being significantly high for M. acherusicum. M. gryllotalpa and M. acherusicum showed the highest proportion of lipids (19.15% and 18.35%, respectively). Isoleucine, glycine and alanine were the dominant amino acids in all species. In addition, amphipods collected from ponds showed low levels of heavy metals. Furthermore, the biochemical profiles of the five species of amphipods have been compared with other studied alternative prey. Therefore, pond amphipods are good candidates to be used as feed, and are proposed as a new sustainable economic resource to be used in aquaculture. G. insensibilis may be the best for intensive culture as an alternative feed resource because it shows: (1) adequate n-3 PUFA and PL composition; (2) high levels of glycine, alanine, tyrosine, isoleucine and lysine; (3) high natural densities; (4) large body size (≥1 cm), and (5) high concentration of calcium. Moreover, a combined culture of amphipods and fishes in these marsh ponds seems a promising and environmentally sustainable way to develop Integrate Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) in these ecosystems.

Sorption of Cr, Pb, Cu, Zn, Cd, Ni, and Co to nano-TiO2 in seawater.

In this study, the role of nanoparticles in complex aqueous matrices such as the Baltic Sea was investigated in batch-mode experiments in which titanium dioxide nanoparticles (nano-TiO2) were tested for their ability to remove heavy metals (Cr, Pb, Cu, Zn, Cd, Ni, Co) from multicomponent spiked and non-spiked Baltic Sea water. The experimental data were analyzed using different isotherms (Langmuir, Freundlich, Dubinin-Kaganer-Radushkevich (DKR)) and models (pseudo-first-order and pseudo-second-order models, the double-exponential model, and the Weber-Morris model). The equilibria and kinetic investigations showed that metal sorption to nano-TiO2 occurs in a two-step, multilayer process and that there is strong competition for sorption sites. The results of the DKR isotherm and dilution experiment indicated weak electrostatic bonds, except for Pb. The distribution coefficient values (1.8 × 103 to 2.8 × 105 ml g-1) were consistent with the good sorbent properties of nano-TiO2 and supported the use of the particles in seawater purification technologies. However, metal-enriched nano-TiO2 may also act as an effective carriers of metals to marine sediments, which could increase their availability to benthic organisms.

Bioavailability and soil-to-crop transfer of heavy metals in farmland soils: A case study in the Pearl River Delta, South China.

Soil-bound heavy metals are of great concern for human health due to the potential exposure via food chain transfer. In the present study, the occurrence, the bioavailability and the soil-to-crop transfer of heavy metals in farmland soils were investigated based on data from two agricultural areas, i.e. Sihui and Shunde in South China. Six heavy metals (As, Cu, Hg, Mn, Ni and Pb) were quantified in the farmland soils. The mean single pollution level indices (PI) were all lower than 1 except for Hg in soils from Shunde (PI = 1.51 ± 0.46), suggesting the farmland soils were within clean and slightly polluted by heavy metals. As, Cu, Ni and Pb were found to be mostly present in the non-bioavailable form. The majority of Hg was considered potentially bioavailable, and Mn was found to be largely bioavailable. Soil pH was an important factor influencing bioavailability of soil-bound heavy metals. The concentrations of heavy metals in vegetables from Sihui and Shunde were within the food hygiene standards, while the rice grain from Sihui was polluted by Pb (PI = 10.3 ± 23.4). Total soil concentrations of heavy metals were not correlated to their corresponding crop concentrations, instead, significant correlations were observed for bioavailable concentrations in soil. The results supported the notion that the bioavailability of the investigated heavy metals in the soil was largely responsible for their crop uptake. The soil-to-crop transfer factors based on bioavailable concentrations suggested that Cu, As and Hg in soils of the study area had greater tendency to be accumulated in the vegetables than other heavy metals, calling for further human health assessment by consuming the contaminated crops.

Source apportionment of soil heavy metals using robust absolute principal component scores-robust geographically weighted regression (RAPCS-RGWR) receptor model.

The traditional source apportionment models, such as absolute principal component scores-multiple linear regression (APCS-MLR), are usually susceptible to outliers, which may be widely present in the regional geochemical dataset. Furthermore, the models are merely built on variable space instead of geographical space and thus cannot effectively capture the local spatial characteristics of each source contributions. To overcome the limitations, a new receptor model, robust absolute principal component scores-robust geographically weighted regression (RAPCS-RGWR), was proposed based on the traditional APCS-MLR model. Then, the new method was applied to the source apportionment of soil metal elements in a region of Wuhan City, China as a case study. Evaluations revealed that: (i) RAPCS-RGWR model had better performance than APCS-MLR model in the identification of the major sources of soil metal elements, and (ii) source contributions estimated by RAPCS-RGWR model were more close to the true soil metal concentrations than that estimated by APCS-MLR model. It is shown that the proposed RAPCS-RGWR model is a more effective source apportionment method than APCS-MLR (i.e., non-robust and global model) in dealing with the regional geochemical dataset.

Total Mercury in Squalid Callista Megapitaria squalida from the SW Gulf of California, Mexico: Tissue Distribution and Human Health Risk.

We evaluated the total Hg concentration in different tissues of squalid callista Megapitaria squalida in order to measure Hg distribution in tissue and to estimate human health risk. Samples were obtained by free diving in the SW Gulf of California, Mexico. Concentrations are given on a wet weight basis. A total of 89 squalid callista specimens were obtained, presenting an average Hg concentration of 0.07 ± 0.04 µg g-1. There were no significant differences (p > 0.05) in Hg concentration between tissues (visceral mass = 0.09 ± 0.08 µg g-1; mantle = 0.06 ± 0.07 µg g-1; muscle = 0.06 ± 0.04 µg g-1). The low Hg values found in squalid callista and its low risk quotient (HQ = 0.03) suggest that the consumption of squalid callista does not represent a human health risk. However, HQ calculated using MeHg was > 1, it which could indicate a potential risk related to consumption of clams.

Biofuel production and phycoremediation by Chlorella sp. ISTLA1 isolated from landfill site.

The present study aims to investigate the biofuel production ability and potential of heavy metal remediation of Chlorella sp. ISTLA1 isolated from a landfill site. The strain was cultured in Bold's Basal medium at different concentration of NaHCO3 and pH. Response surface methodology was employed for the optimization of nutrient sources for higher lipid production. Under the optimized conditions, the yield of lipid and biomass was 365.42 and 833.14 mg L-1 respectively. GC-MS analysis of lipid indicated the presence of C8 to C31 organic compounds consisting mainly of palmitic acid (C16:0), stearic acid (C18:0) and oleic acid (C18:1). Additionally, remediation of heavy metals like Zn, Cu, Mn and Fe from waste water was observed by AAS and EDX. The removal efficiency was 82.6% for Zn, 56.5% for Cu, 79.8% for Mn and 40% for Fe. The study revealed simultaneous biodiesel production and waste water treatment by Chlorella sp. ISTLA1.

In-depth resistome analysis by targeted metagenomics.

Antimicrobial resistance is a major global health challenge. Metagenomics allows analyzing the presence and dynamics of "resistomes" (the ensemble of genes encoding antimicrobial resistance in a given microbiome) in disparate microbial ecosystems. However, the low sensitivity and specificity of available metagenomic methods preclude the detection of minority populations (often present below their detection threshold) and/or the identification of allelic variants that differ in the resulting phenotype. Here, we describe a novel strategy that combines targeted metagenomics using last generation in-solution capture platforms, with novel bioinformatics tools to establish a standardized framework that allows both quantitative and qualitative analyses of resistomes.

Chronic kidney disease in sugarcane workers in Cameroon: a cross-sectional study.

Agricultural workers especially in sugarcane plantations have a high risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Little is known about CKD among sugarcane plantation workers in Cameroon. This study sought to evaluate the prevalence and identify factors associated with CKD in sugarcane plantation workers in Cameroon.

Contamination characteristics and source apportionment of heavy metals in topsoil from an area in Xi'an city, China.

As soil-extractable elements potentially pose ecological and health risks, identifying their contamination characteristics and sources is crucial. Therefore, to understand topsoil trace elements in the urban ring zone from the Second Ring Road to the Third Ring of Xi'an city in China, we determined the concentrations of Zn, Co, V, As, Cu, Mn, Ba, Ni and Pb, and analyzed the sources of the contamination. The results showed that the individual pollution indices of Pb, Co, Cu, Zn, Ba, Ni, Mn, As, and V were 1.79, 1.48, 1.41, 1.33, 1.20, 1.07, 1.04, 0.99, and 0.99, respectively. Evaluation with the aid of the pollution load index (PLI) indicated slight soil contamination by these elements in the study area. Using the positive matrix factorization (PMF) method, we identified four sources of contamination, namely (1) a natural source, (2) traffic emission source, (3) industrial emission source, and (4) mixed source. PMF is an effective tool for source apportionment of heavy metals in topsoil. The contribution rates of the natural source, traffic source, mixed source, and industrial source to the heavy metal contamination were specified as 25.04%, 24.71%, 24.99%, and 25.26%, respectively. Considering the above, any attempt to reduce the soil environmental cost of urban development, has to take into account the heavy metal contamination of the topsoil from industries, traffic, and other activities.

Supported carbon dots serve as high-performance adsorbent for the retention of trace cadmium.

Carbon dots were prepared via a one-pot hydrothermal route, and a new solid-phase extraction (SPE) adsorbent was developed by immobilizing the carbon dots on the microcarrier cytopore, shortly termed as [email protected] The [email protected] composites were characterized by means of FT-IR, SEM, XPS and fluorescence spectrometry. The performance of the composites for the adsorption of heavy metals was thoroughly evaluated by using cadmium as a model. The binding of cadmium on [email protected] fits Langmuir adsorption, and the adsorption dynamic follows pseudo-second-order adsorption kinetics model. The binding of cadmium was pH-dependent, with a maximum adsorption capacity of 2420μgg-1 obtained at pH 4-7. A novel separation and preconcentration procedure was thus developed for trace cadmium using the [email protected] composites as SPE sorbent. The retained cadmium could be readily eluted and recovered by a 0.1molL-1 HNO3 solution and further quantified with graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GFAAS). With a sample volume of 1.0mL, an enrichment factor of 17.85 was obtained with a detection limit of 1.8ngL-1 and a RSD value of 2.6% at 0.1μgL-1 (n = 9). The procedure was further validated by analyzing cadmium in certified reference materials and a series of environmental water samples.

Exposure to nanoscale and microscale particulate air pollution prior to mining development near a northern indigenous community in Québec, Canada.

This study serves as a baseline characterization of indoor and outdoor air quality in a remote northern indigenous community prior to the start of a major nearby mining operation, including measurements of nanoparticles, which has never been performed in this context before. We performed aerosol sample collection and real-time aerosol measurements at six different locations at the Cree First Nation of Waswanipi and the Montviel campsite, located 45 km west of the Cree First Nation of Waswanipi, in the south of the Nord-du-Québec region. High concentrations of airborne nanoparticles (up to 3.98 × 104 ± 8.9 × 103 cm-3 at 64.9-nm midpoint particle diameter) and fine particles (up to 1.99 × 103 ± 1.6 × 102 cm-3 at 0.3-μm midpoint particle diameter) were measured inside a residential home, where we did not find any ventilation or air filtration systems. The most abundant particle sizes by mass were between 0.19 and 0.55 μm. The maximum concentration of analyzed heavy metals was detected at the d50 cut-off particle size of 0.31 μm; and the most abundant heavy metals in the aerosol samples were Al, Ba, Zn, Cu, Hg, and Pb. We concluded that the sources of the relatively high indoor particle concentrations were likely laundry machines and cooking emissions in the absence of a sufficient ventilation system. However, the chemical composition of particles resulting from mining activities is expected to be different from that of the aerosol particles from indoor sources. Installation and proper maintenance of sufficient ventilation and air filtration systems may reduce the total burden of disease from outdoor and indoor air pollution and remediate infiltrated indoor particulate pollution from the mining sources as well.