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Effects of pharmaceuticals (Caffeine and Ibuprofen) and AMF inoculation on the growth and yield of Oryza sativa L.

Barbera, Antonio Carlo, Leonardi, Giovanni, Ferrante, Margherita, Zuccarello, Pietro, Maucieri, Carmelo
Agricultural water management 2020 v.232 pp. 106005
Oryza sativa, biofertilizers, caffeine, climate change, crops, endocrine-disrupting chemicals, grain yield, human health, ibuprofen, irrigation, mycorrhizal fungi, photochemistry, pollutants, rice, risk, staple foods, wastewater treatment, water pollution
Alternative water sources for crop production need to be identified in order to meet increasing food demand under climate change scenario. However unconventional water source can contain micropollutants like endocrine disruptors and pharmaceuticals due to their persistence after the most common wastewater treatments. Rice is the staple food of more than half of the world's population which requires high volumes of water to achieve optimal yields. For this reason also low micropollutants concentration can represent a serious problem due to the stack in the trophic chain. At the state of art, the effects of these compounds on crops yield and quality remain largely unknown. To fill this gap, the aim of this work was to determine the effects of caffeine and ibuprofen on the growth of Oryza sativa (L.) and their presence in the grain. We also investigated the possible interactions of biofertilizer based on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) with the pollutants to evaluate if their use affected the grain pollutants content due to irrigation with polluted water. The results show that the polluted solution has caused an increase in rice yield (+51 %) and growth. The interaction between the polluting treatment and the mycorrhizal fungi has caused an increase in photochemical efficiency values compared to the control (+2.63 %). Instead, only with AMF treatment an inhibitory effect on the growth (−42 %) and photochemical efficiency (−5.4 %) have been observed. An ibuprofen (119.3 ng g⁻¹) and caffeine (from 52 to 1060 ng g⁻¹) translocation in rice grain has been observed. As far as we know, this is the first study reporting the presence of exogenous caffeine, and ibuprofen in rice grain suggesting further evaluations about the possible agronomical, environmental and human health risks effects of these pollutants.