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Title: An investigation into the biological effects of indirect potable reuse water using zebrafish embryos
Authors: Lawton, E
Antczak, P
Walker, S
Germain-Cripps, E
Falciani, F
Routledge, EJ
Keywords: advanced treatment;water reuse;toxicogenomics;zebrafish;biomonitoring;retinoid
Issue Date: 24-May-2021
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Citation: Lawton, E., Antczak, P., Walker, S., Germain-Cripps, E., Falciani, F. and Routledge, E.J. (2021) 'An investigation into the biological effects of indirect potable reuse water using zebrafish embryos', Science of The Total Environment, 789, 147981, pp. 1-13. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.147981.
Abstract: Copyright © 2021 The Authors. Advanced treatment technologies are being assessed as a proactive measure to assist with the transformation of treated wastewater into a source of water for potable water production. We investigated the biological effects along an advanced water treatment pilot plant, using zebrafish embryos throughout early development. The study compared phenotypic observations with global transcriptome responses, enabling us to keep an open mind about the chemicals that might influence the biological activity. There was no evidence of acute toxicity at any treatment stage, but skeletal, cardiovascular and pigmentation changes occurred in a small proportion of embryos along the treatment process, and in a tap water; not detected in the aquarium water control. Reverse osmosis (RO) reduced the concentration of measured chemical contaminants in the water the most, while eliminating the occurrence of abnormalities detected in fish embryos. Conversely, advanced oxidation reversed the benefits of RO treatment by increasing the frequency of teratogenic and sub-lethal abnormalities seen. Using the molecular responses of zebrafish embryos to different IPR water, we report the bioactivity within the water at different stages of advanced treatment and associate these to perturbed biological functions. Transcriptomic analysis revealed alterations to the retinoid system, which was consistent with the observed teratogenic effects. Changes to tryptophan metabolism (associated with the production of melatonin required for the control of normal circadian rhythms) and somatolactin-beta (associated with normal pigmentation in fish) were also found. We show that underexplored forms of biological activity occur in treated wastewater effluent, and/or may be created depending on the type of advanced treatment process used. By integrating the available analytical chemistry we highlight chemical groups associated to this response. Our study shows that more detailed and in-depth characterisation of chemicals and biological pathways associated with advanced treatment water systems are needed to mitigate possible risks to downstream organisms.
ISSN: 0048-9697
Other Identifiers: ORCID iD: Edwin J. Routledge
Appears in Collections:Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers

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