2023 journal article

Cupric ions inducing dynamic hormesis in duckweed systems for swine wastewater treatment: Quantification, modelling and mechanisms


By: C. Li*, Y. Lin*, X. Li*, J. Cheng n & C. Yang*

author keywords: Copper; Phytoremediation; Hormesis; Duckweed; Antioxidant defense
MeSH headings : Animals; Swine; Wastewater; Hormesis; Copper / metabolism; Ions / metabolism; Araceae; Amino Acids / metabolism
Source: Web Of Science
Added: February 13, 2023

Hormesis has attracted close attention of environmental and toxicological communities over the past decades. Most studies focused on the hormesis induced by stressors in the aspect of their biotoxicity to organisms, while little research was conducted on hormesis in the aspect of biological wastewater treatment process. In this study, removal of NH4+-N and Cu2+ by S. polyrrhiza under long-term Cu2+ exposure at environmentally relevant concentrations in swine wastewater was investigated. Removal efficiencies of NH4+-N by duckweeds at 0.0, 0.1, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0 and 4.0 mg/L Cu2+ were 81.6 %, 83.7 %, 89.4 %, 74.9 %, 61.8 % and 45.1 % on day 28, however, during the initial period of cultivation (0–4 days), such hormetic effect was not observed, indicating time-dependent feature of hormesis in NH4+-N removal. The modified logistic growth model was applied to describe long-term hormesis induced by Cu2+ on NH4+-N removal and it suggested that the optimal copper exposure for ammonium removal was 0.48 mg/L. More importantly, it was found that previous exposure to low doses of Cu2+ (0–1 mg/L) could enhance NH4+-N removal performance under the second exposure. Cu2+ above 1 mg/L could switch copper bioaccumulation pattern from the Langmiur-irreversible type to reversible one, indicating risk of secondary pollution. Six components including freshly-produced humic-like substances, lignin, fulvic acid-protein complex, free amino acid-like substances, tyrosine-like substance and soluble amino acid-like substances in duckweeds were detected by parallel factor (PARAFAC) model detected. Principle component analysis (PCA) conducted on PARAFAC components suggested that enhanced synthesis of protein and growth factors intracellularly at low dose stimulation improved ammonia uptake from the environment. This study provided a novel strategy to improve treatment performance of duckweeds for copper contaminated wastewater and helped understand biochemical responses and their roles in evolutionary adaptive strategies to stresses.