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In situ localization of micropollutants and associated stress response in Populus nigra leaves

Villette, C., Maurer, L., Delecolle, J., Zumsteg, J., Erhardt, M., Heintz, D.
Environment international 2019 v.126 pp. 523-532
Populus nigra, chronic exposure, drugs, ecosystems, hormesis, hormones, humans, image analysis, leaves, liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, pesticides, pollutants, risk assessment, sludge, stress response, tissues, toxicology, water treatment
Micropollutants and emerging organic contaminants (EOCs) have been widely studied in terms of persistance, removal, human risk assessment, toxicology, etc. Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) offers the possibility of following the fate of a single pesticide in a plant leaf or a drug in the whole body of an animal, organ by organ. However, the admissibility of chronic low doses of complex mixtures for the ecosystem has not been assessed. How do micropollutants diffuse in the environment? How do living organisms cope with chronic exposure to a low dose of diverse micropollutants? Is there a cocktail effect or a chance for hormesis? Combining mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) and targeted and nontargeted liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (LC-MS), we attempt to answer these questions. We investigate the diversity of micropollutants at the exit of a water treatment facility, their diffusion in sludge and black poplar (Populus nigra), and their impact on a living organism. We reveal a specific tissue localization of micropollutants in peripheral leaf tissues, and an associated stress response from the plant, with stress hormones and tissue degradation markers induced in the plant growing near the water efflux.