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Effects of sulfamethoxazole and sulfamethoxazole-degrading bacteria on water quality and microbial communities in milkfish ponds

Chang, Bea-Ven, Chang, Yi-Tang, Chao, Wei-Liang, Yeh, Shinn-Lih, Kuo, Dong-Lin, Yang, Chu-Wen
Environmental pollution 2019 v.252 pp. 305-316
Chanos chanos, algae, ammonia, antibiotics, beneficial microorganisms, bioaugmentation, community structure, disease outbreaks, euryhaline species, fish, fish culture, intensive farming, microbial communities, nitrifying bacteria, nitrogen-fixing bacteria, photosynthetic bacteria, ponds, sulfamethoxazole, total phosphorus, virulent strains, water quality
Intensive farming practices are typically used for aquaculture. To prevent disease outbreaks, antibiotics are often used to reduce pathogenic bacteria in aquaculture animals. However, the effects of antibiotics on water quality and microbial communities in euryhaline fish culture ponds are largely unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the interactions between sulfamethoxazole (SMX), water quality and microbial communities in milkfish (Chanos chanos) culture ponds. The results of small-scale milkfish pond experiments indicated that the addition of SMX decreased the abundance of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB), nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) and photosynthetic bacteria. Consequently, the levels of ammonia and total phosphorus in the fish pond water increased, causing algal and cyanobacterial blooms to occur. In contrast, the addition of the SMX-degrading bacterial strains A12 and L effectively degraded SMX and reduced the levels of ammonia and total phosphorus in fish pond water. Furthermore, the abundances of AOB, NOB and photosynthetic bacteria were restored, and algal and cyanobacterial blooms were inhibited. This study demonstrate the influences of SMX on water quality and microbial community composition in milkfish culture ponds. Moreover, the use of the bacterial strains A12 and L as dual function (bioaugmentation and water quality maintenance) beneficial bacteria was shown to provide an effective approach for the bioremediation of SMX-contaminated euryhaline milkfish culture ponds.