Biofilm formation and its implications on the properties and fate of microplastics in aquatic environments:A review

Sooriyakumar, Prasanthi and Bolan, Nanthi and Kumar, Manish and Singh, Lal and Yu, Ying and Li, Yang and Weralupitiya, Chanusha and Vithanage, Meththika and Ramanayaka, Sammani and Sarkar, Binoy and Wang, Fang and Gleeson, Deirdre and Zhang, Dongke and Kirkham, M.B. and Rinklebe, Jörg and Siddique, Kadambot H.M (2022) Biofilm formation and its implications on the properties and fate of microplastics in aquatic environments:A review. Journal of Hazardous Materials Advances, 6. ISSN 2772-4166

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Particulate plastic fragments (micro and nano-plastics) in aquatic environments provide abundant solid substrates, which serve as an important habitat for a variety of microorganisms. Surfaces of microplastics (MPs) exhibit hydrophobicity that facilitate the adsorption of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the aquatic environment. Furthermore, MPs act as substrata, as well as a carbon source including the readily bioavailable DOC, which promote the formation of microbial biofilms. These biofilms have varied metabolic actions that govern the subsequent succession of micro- and meso-organisms habitation of MPs. The assemblage of ecosystems colonising the plastic environment is often referred to as the “plastisphere”. Polymer type, environmental conditions, including nutrient status, salinity, and season, affect the microbial composition of the biofilm. Microbial habitation accelerated by biofilm formation on particulate plastics enables the movement of microorganisms, especially in the aquatic environment, and impacts the transport and toxicity of contaminants associated with these particulate plastic fragments. This review paper describes the processes of microbial habitation and subsequent biofilm formation, the factors affecting biofilm formation, and the implications of biofilm formation on the mobility of microorganisms, degradation of MPs, and the bioavailability of contaminants associated with MPs.

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Journal Article
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Journal of Hazardous Materials Advances
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Deposited On:
27 Apr 2022 14:50
Last Modified:
01 Nov 2023 01:05