Model Anaerobic Microbe Photobacterium phosphoreum: A Potential Biosensor for Different Metals and Volatile Fatty Acids Toxicity during Wastewater Treatment
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Department of Environmental Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
Department of Environmental Sciences, COMSATS University Islamabad, Abbottabad Campus 22060, Pakistan
Department of Chemistry, College of Science, University of Bahrain, Sakhir 32038, Bahrain
Department of Environmental Sciences, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University Sheringal, Dir (Upper), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 18000, Pakistan
School of Biological Sciences, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Perth, WA 6009, Australia
Department of Biology, College of Science, University of Bahrain, Sakhir 32038, Bahrain
Botany and Microbiology Department, College of Science, King Saud University, P.O. Box. 2460, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
Plant Production Department, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University, P.O. Box. 2460, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
Submission date: 2023-04-02
Final revision date: 2023-05-09
Acceptance date: 2023-05-20
Online publication date: 2023-07-13
Publication date: 2023-08-11
Corresponding author
Qaisar Mahmood   

Environmental Sciences, COMSATS University Islamabad, University Road, 22060, Abbottabad, Pakistan
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2023;32(5):4385–4392
The presence of various heavy metals may influence the transformation of many organics by anaerobes under anaerobic conditions. Sometimes, the coexistence of both heavy metals and volatile fatty acids (VFAs) may cause an inhibitory impact on microbial species involved in such biotransformation. These toxic mixtures create disturbances in the bioreactors by inhibiting the ability of the microorganism to degrade the waste. To keep the anaerobic process horizontal, it is essential to know the concentrations of the heavy metals and VFAs during the wastewater treatment operations, otherwise, it would result in halting various operations. Other methods are time-consuming. However, the Microtox analysis provides quick and reliable information about the toxic concentrations of the mixtures by calculating the IC50 15 min luminosity inhibition through Photobacterium phosphoreum T3S. The current research work aimed to assess the impacts of Pb, Cd, Cu, and VFAs on luminescent anaerobic microbial species P. phosphoreum under laboratory conditions. The individual and combined acute toxicity assays were conducted following standard protocols. The results revealed that the combined treatments of individual heavy metals along VFAs caused partly additive toxic effects. The effects of two heavy metals along VFAs resulted in the synergistic type of toxic effects. The application of tri-mixtures of metals along VFAs also caused synergistic effects. The current data would be quite handy to conclude P. phosphoreum as a potential biosensor for metals and volatile fatty acids toxicity and to optimize various bioreactors against different heavy metals and VFA shocks by taking timely corrective measures.