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Mar Pollut Bull. 2015 Oct 15;99(1-2):104-11. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2015.07.051. Epub 2015 Jul 29.

Impact of silver nanoparticles on benthic prokaryotes in heavy metal-contaminated estuarine sediments in a tropical environment.

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Emerald Energy Consultancy Ltd, England LN7 6GN, United Kingdom. Electronic address:
Department of Marine Science, University of Calcutta, 35 Ballygunge Circular Road, Calcutta 700019, India.
West Bengal University of Technology, BF 142, Sector I, Salt Lake, Calcutta 700064, India.


Little knowledge is available about the potential impact of commercial silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) on estuarine microbial communities. The Hugli river estuary, India, is susceptible to heavy metals pollution through boat traffic, and there is the potential for Ag-NP exposure via effluent discharged from ongoing municipal and industrial activities located in close proximity. This study investigated the effects of commercial Ag-NPs on native microbial communities in estuarine sediments collected from five stations, using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) technique. An increase in the number of bacteria in consortium in sediments was observed following exposure to Ag-NPs. In general microbial communities may be resistant in estuarine systems to the antimicrobial effects of commercial Ag-NPs, but key microorganisms, such as Pelobacter propionicus, disappeared following exposure to Ag-NPs. In conclusion, the T-RFLP analysis indicated that Ag-NPs have the potential to shape estuarine sediment bacterial community structure.


Hugli estuary; Microbial dynamics; Nanoparticles; Sediment; Sundarban

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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