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Antioxidant enzyme activities as biomarkers of fluvial biofilm to ZnO NPs ecotoxicity and the Integrated Biomarker Responses (IBR) assessment

Hou, Jun, You, Guoxiang, Xu, Yi, Wang, Chao, Wang, Peifang, Miao, Lingzhan, Dai, Shanshan, Lv, Bowen, Yang, Yangyang
Ecotoxicology and environmental safety 2016
adverse effects, bacteria, biofilm, biomarkers, catalase, ecotoxicology, environmental impact, enzyme activity, exposure duration, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione-disulfide reductase, nanoparticles, reactive oxygen species, scanning electron microscopy, superoxide dismutase, toxicity, viability, zinc oxide
The presence of ZnO nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) in natural waters has raised concerns about their environmental impacts, but the potential influences of ZnO NPs on fluvial biofilm have not been reported. In this study, the utility of antioxidant enzyme activities (AEA) as biomarkers of fluvial biofilm to ZnO NPs toxicity and a method that combines AEA into an index of “Integrated Biomarker Responses (IBR)” were studied. Compared with the absence of ZnO NPs, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images revealed that a large amount of ZnO NPs were adsorbed onto biofilm and these NPs exerted adverse effects on the viability of bacteria in biofilm. The production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) with high concentrations (30 and 100mg/L) of ZnO NPs exposure reached to 184% and 244% of the control, while no cell leakage and membrane damage were observed. After exposure to ZnO NPs for 0.25 and 3 days, the activities of catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione reductase (GR), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) were significantly increased, respectively. At the end of exposure period (21 days), the AEA with the presence of 1mg/L ZnO NPs exposure were comparable to the control, while most of those in high concentrations of ZnO NPs were decreased. The results of IBR showed that the biofilm can adapt to 1mg/L ZnO NPs exposure, while be seriously damaged by 30 and 100mg/L ZnO NPs after 3 and 0.25day. IBR can be used as an appropriate evaluation system of the toxicity effects of ZnO NPs on fluvial biofim.