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Changes in bacterial diversity of activated sludge exposed to titanium dioxide nanoparticles

Abstract : The rapid growth of the use of nanomaterials in different modern industrial branches makes the study of the impact of nanoparticles on the human health and environment an urgent matter. For instance, it has been reported that titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs) can be found in wastewater treatment plants. Previous studies have found contrasting effects of these nanoparticles over the activated sludge process, including negative effects on the oxygen uptake. The non-utilization of oxygen reflects that aerobic bacteria were inhibited or decayed. The aim of this work was to study how TiO2 NPs affect the bacterial diversity and metabolic processes on an activated sludge. First, respirometry assays of 8 h were carried out at different concentrations of TiO2 NPs (0.5–2.0 mg/mL) to measure the oxygen uptake by the activated sludge. The bacterial diversity of these assays was determined by sequencing the amplified V3–V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene using Illumina MiSeq. According to the respirometry assays, the aerobic processes were inhibited in a range from 18.5 ± 4.8% to 37.5 ± 2.0% for concentrations of 0.5–2.0 mg/mL TiO2 NPs. The oxygen uptake rate was affected mainly after 4.5 h for concentrations higher than 1.0 mg/mL of these nanoparticles. Results indicated that, in the presence of TiO2 NPs, the bacterial community of activated sludge was altered mainly in the genera related to nitrogen removal (nitrogen assimilation, nitrification and denitrification). The metabolic pathways prediction suggested that genes related to biofilm formation were more sensitive than genes directly related to nitrification–denitrification and N-assimilation processes. These results indicated that TiO2 NPs might modify the bacteria diversity in the activated sludge according to their concentration and time of exposition, which in turn impact in the performance of the wastewater treatment processes
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Submitted on : Tuesday, April 20, 2021 - 12:45:28 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, April 21, 2021 - 3:23:50 AM




Pabel Cervantes-Avilés, César Augusto Caretta, Elcia Margareth Souza Brito, Pierre Bertin, Germán Cuevas-Rodríguez, et al.. Changes in bacterial diversity of activated sludge exposed to titanium dioxide nanoparticles. Biodegradation, Springer Verlag, In press, ⟨10.1007/s10532-021-09939-w⟩. ⟨hal-03202940⟩



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