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Long-term effects of environmentally relevant concentrations of silver nanoparticles on major soil bacterial phyla of a loamy soil

  • Background: The growing production and use of engineered AgNP in industry and private households make increasing concentrations of AgNP in the environment unavoidable. Although we already know the harmful effects of AgNP on pivotal bacterial driven soil functions, information about the impact of silver nanoparticles (AgNP) on the soil bacterial community structure is rare. Hence, the aim of this study was to reveal the long-term effects of AgNP on major soil bacterial phyla in a loamy soil. The study was conducted as a laboratory incubation experiment over a period of 1 year using a loamy soil and AgNP concentrations ranging from 0.01 to 1 mg AgNP/kg soil. Effects were quantified using the taxon-specific 16S rRNA qPCR. Results: The short-term exposure of AgNP at environmentally relevant concentration of 0.01 mg AgNP/kg caused significant positive effects on Acidobacteria (44.0%), Actinobacteria (21.1%) and Bacteroidetes (14.6%), whereas beta-Proteobacteria population was minimized by 14.2% relative to the control (p ≤ 0.05). After 1 year of exposure to 0.01 mg AgNP/kg diminished Acidobacteria (p = 0.007), Bacteroidetes (p = 0.005) and beta-Proteobacteria (p = 0.000) by 14.5, 10.1 and 13.9%, respectively. Actino- and alpha-Proteobacteria were statistically unaffected by AgNP treatments after 1-year exposure. Furthermore, a statistically significant regression and correlation analysis between silver toxicity and exposure time confirmed loamy soils as a sink for silver nanoparticles and their concomitant silver ions. Conclusions: Even very low concentrations of AgNP may cause disadvantages for the autotrophic ammonia oxidation (nitrification), the organic carbon transformation and the chitin degradation in soils by exerting harmful effects on the liable bacterial phyla.

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Author:Anna-Lena Grün, Christoph EmmerlingORCiD
Parent Title (English):Environmental Sciences Europe
Place of publication:London
Document Type:Article
Date of completion:2018/12/11
Date of publication:2018/08/31
Publishing institution:Universität Trier
Contributing corporation:The publication was funded by the Open Access Fund of Universität Trier and the German Research Foundation (DFG)
Release Date:2018/12/11
Tag:Acidobacteria; Actinobacteria; Bacteria phyla; Silver Nanoparticles; Soil
GND Keyword:Boden; Bodenbakterien; Nanopartikel; Silber
Volume (for the year ...):30
Number of pages:13
Source:Environmental Sciences Europe 30(2018)
Institutes:Fachbereich 6 / Geographie und Geowissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 57 Biowissenschaften; Biologie / 570 Biowissenschaften; Biologie
Licence (German):License LogoCC BY: Creative-Commons-Lizenz 4.0 International

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