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Toxic responses of metabolites, organelles and gut microorganisms of Eisenia fetida in a soil with chromium contamination

Tang, Ronggui, Li, Xiaogang, Mo, Yongliang, Ma, Yibing, Ding, Changfeng, Wang, Junsong, Zhang, Taolin, Wang, Xingxiang
Environmental pollution 2019 v.251 pp. 910-920
Aeromonadaceae, Burkholderiaceae, Eisenia fetida, Enterobacteriaceae, adverse outcome pathways, betaine, biodiversity, biomarkers, chromium, earthworms, genomics, histopathology, intestinal microorganisms, metabolism, metabolites, multivariate analysis, nucleic acids, organelles, polluted soils, proteomics, soil ecosystems, survival rate, toxicity
The toxic sensitivity in different physiological levels of chromium (Cr) contaminated soils with environmentally equivalent concentrations (EEC) was fully unknown. The earthworm Eisenia fetida was exposed to a Cr-contaminated soil at the EEC level (referred to as Cr-CS) to characterize the induced toxicity at the whole body, organ, tissue, subcellular structure and metabolic levels. The results showed that the survival rate, weight and biodiversity of the gut microorganisms (organ) had no significant difference (p > 0.05) between control and Cr-CS groups. Qualitative histopathological and subcellular evaluations from morphology showed earthworms obvious injuries. The organelle injuries combined with the metabolic changes provided additional evidence that the Cr-CS damaged the nucleus and probably disturbed the nucleic acid metabolism of earthworms. 2-hexyl-5-ethyl-3-furansulfonate, dimethylglycine, betaine and scyllo-inositol were sensitive and relatively quantitative metabolites that were recommended as potential biomarkers for Cr-CS based on their significant weights in the multivariate analysis model. In addition, the relative abundance of Burkholderiaceae, Enterobacteriaceae and Microscillaceae of the earthworm guts in the Cr-CS group significantly increased, particularly for Burkholderiaceae (increased by 13.1%), while that of Aeromonadaceae significantly decreased by 5.6% in contrast with the control group. These results provided new insights into our understanding of the toxic effects of the EEC level of Cr contaminated soil from different physiological levels of earthworms and extend our knowledge on the composition and sensitivity of the earthworm gut microbiota in Cr contaminated soil ecosystems. Furthermore, these toxic responses from gut microorganisms to metabolites of earthworms provided important data to improve the adverse outcome pathway and toxic mechanism of the Cr-CS if the earthworm genomics and proteomics would be also gained in the future.