The paper presents results of research concerning possibilities of applications of reporter-genes based microorganisms, including the selective presentation of defects and advantages of different new scientific achievements of methodical solutions in genetic system constructions of biosensing elements for environmental research. The most robust and popular genetic fusion and new trends in reporter genes technology – such as LacZ (β-galactosidase), xylE (catechol 2,3-dioxygenase), gfp (green fluorescent proteins) and its mutated forms, lux (prokaryotic luciferase), luc (eukaryotic luciferase), phoA (alkaline phosphatase), gusA and gurA (β-glucuronidase), antibiotics and heavy metals resistance are described. Reporter-genes based biosensors with use of genetically modified bacteria and yeast successfully work for genotoxicity, bioavailability and oxidative stress assessment for detection and monitoring of toxic compounds in drinking water and different environmental samples, surface water, soil, sediments.
The aim of the study was to determine the contamination transport condition with sediment in the Widawa River, which inflows to the Odra River below Wrocław city. The transport simulations have been performed by means of HEC-RAS model, which was calibrated. Study and geochemical analyses indicate that pollutions are cumulated mainly in sediment of grain size, less than 0,20 mm. It was stated that the main sources of contaminations occurring in the Widawa River bottoms are: superficial run-off, municipal and industrial wastes. Sediment bed quality from the Widawa River in selected cross-sections has been analyzed. Samples of suspended load were collected and divided into eight fractions, for which the phosphorus concentration P was calculated. Deposit particles less than 0,20 mm contained most phosphorus, i.e. 73% (3,52 ppm), and particles greater than 0,20 mm about 27% (1,30 ppm) for the whole sample volume. Relationship between the phosphorus concentration P and the sediment grain size was determined. Analysis showed that the initiation of contamination-sediment suspension in the Widawa River is well described by Engelund criterion. Simulations of the migration of pollutions together with deposits in the Widawa River showed that during average flow discharge, the transport intensity of pollution was equal 2 mg/s, and sediments 6 kg/s. In the present work the water quality of the Widawa River has been also presented.
Nanotechnology has been widely applied in agriculture, and understanding of the mechanisms of plant interaction with nanoparticles (NPs) as environmental contaminants is important. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of foliar application of cobalt oxide (Co3O4) NPs on some morpho-physiological and biochemical changes of canola (Brassica napus L.) leaves. Seeds were sown in plastic pots and grown under controlled conditions. Fourteen-day-old seedlings were sprayed with different concentrations of Co3O4 NPs (0, 50, 100, 250, 500, 1000, 2000, and 4000 mg L-1) at weekly intervals for 5 weeks. Growth parameters of the shoot (length, fresh and dry weights) were stimulated by low concentrations of Co3O4 NPs (50 and 100 mg L-1) and repressed by higher concentrations. Similar trends were observed in photosynthetic pigment contents. The results indicated that high concentrations of Co3O4 NPs increased lipoxygenase (LOX) activity and the malondialdehyde (MDA), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and dehydroascorbate (DHA) contents, but reduced the membrane stability index (MSI), ascorbate (ASC), and glutathione (GSH). Despite the increase of antioxidant capacity (DPPH) and the accumulation of nonenzymatic antioxidants (total flavonoids and flavonols) and osmolytes (proline, glycine betaine (GB) and soluble sugars) at high concentrations of Co3O4 NPs, the growth and photosynthesis were reduced. The defence system activity did not seem to be sufficient to detoxify reactive oxygen species (ROS). Altogether, high concentrations of Co3O4 NPs showed a phytotoxic potential for canola as an oilseed crop.
Heavy metal (As, Mn, Ni, Sn, Ti) concentrations were determined in soil and plant samples collected in different areas of the railway junction Iława Główna, Poland. Soil and plant samples were collected in four functional parts of the junction, i.e. the loading ramp, main track within the platform area, rolling stock cleaning bay and the railway siding. Four plant species occurring in relatively higher abundance were selected for heavy metals analysis, although in the loading ramp and platform areas only one species could be collected in the amount which makes chemical analysis possible. The selected species included three perennials (Daucus carota, Pastinaca sativa and Taraxacum officinale) and one annual plant (Sonchus oleraceus). The entire area of the railway junction showed elevated concentrations of heavy metals when compared to the control level. It was most pronounced for the platform area and railway siding. The concentration of arsenic, manganese and nickel in plants growing in these parts of the junction exceeded the toxic level. The highest contamination of soil and plants found in the platform area suggested advanced emission process of the analyzed metals from wheel and track abrasion. Literature review showed that the concentration of the investigated metals in soil was generally higher than that found in centers of cities and along traffic roads proving that the railway is an important linear source of soil contamination
The study was aimed at evaluating microbial contamination on the premises of the sewage treatment plant by determining the concentrations of selected groups of airborne microorganisms. Another objective was to determine the antibiotic sensitivity patterns of isolated strains of staphylococci. The research was conducted in a seasonal cycle, by the impaction method using Merck MAS-100 air sampler. Samples were collected at six sites, each representing a different stage of sewage treatment. The susceptibility of isolated staphylococci was assessed with the disc-diffusion method, following the recommendations of the EUCAST. The results indicate that the microbial population in the air of the investigated area was dominated by mold fungi, whose highest average concentration was recorded at site IV located near the final clarifier (7672 CFU•m-3). Heterotrophic bacteria and mannitol-positive staphylococci were the most numerous at locations where sewage undergoes primary treatment. In each subseuqent stage the number of microorganisms emitted into the air from the sewage was lower. Antibiograms show that more than 50% of Staphylococcus spp. exhibited resistance to penicillin and 20% to rifampicin. In addition, 90% of the analyzed strains were sensitive to other antibiotics. The fungal community included the following genera: Cladosporium, Fusarium, Alternaria, Penicillium, Aspergillus, Aureobasidium, and Acremonium.The highest air contamination with all studied groups of microorganisms was recorded at the locations where mechanical sewage treatment was performed. During the subsequent stages lower numbers of heterotrophic bacteria were emitted into the air. The air in the investigated sewage treatment plant did not contain multidrug-resistant staphylococci.
The aim of this research was to evaluate the microbiological indoor air contamination level in chosen facilities of the primary health-care for adults and children. The total numbers of mesophilic bacteria, staphylococci, coli-group bacteria and moulds in both surgery rooms and patients’ waiting rooms were determined. Air samples were collected with a MAS 100 impactor and the concentration of microorganisms was estimated by a culture method. The microbiological air contamination level was diverse: the number of mesophilic bacteria ranged from 320 to 560 CFU/m3, number of staphylococci - 10-305 CFU/m3, coli group bacteria - 0-15 CFU/m3 and moulds - 15-35 CFU/m3. The bacteriological contamination level of the air in examined community health centers was higher than described in the literature for hospitals and exceeded the acceptable values proposed for the surgery objects.
The aim of the research conducted in a 2-year pot experiment in an unheated plastic tunnel was to determine suitability of Miscanthus × giganteus for phytoextraction of nickel from soil as well as to assess tolerance of this species on increasing concentrations of this metal in soil. Pots were filled with mineral soil (sand) and a mixture of soil with high-moor peat and three levels of nickel were introduced, i.e. 75 mg dm-3, 150 mg dm-3 and 600 mg dm-3 and the control combinations used substrates without the addition of nickel. Nickel was introduced only in the first year of the experiment in the form of nickel sulfate (NiSO4 · 6H2O). Miscanthus × giganteus accumulated a considerable amount of nickel in biomass. Miscanthus × giganteus growing in contaminated mineral soil turned out to be a species tolerant to high nickel concentrations
The research described in this contribution is focused on fractographic analysis of the fracture area of newly developed eutectic silumin type AlSi9NiCuMg0.5 (AA 4032), which was developed and patented by a team of staff of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. The paper presents determination of the cause of casting cracks in operating conditions. Fractographic analysis of the fracture area, identification of the structure of the casting, identification of structural components on the surface of the fracture surface and chemical analysis of the material in the area of refraction were performed within the experiment. Al-Si alloys with high specific strength, low density, and good castability are widely used in pressure-molded components for the automotive and aerospace industries. The results shown that the inter-media phases Fe-Al and Fe-Si in aluminium alloys lead to breakage across the entire casting section and a crack that crossed the entire cross section, which was confirmed by EDS analysis.
The consumption of cereal contaminated with mycotoxins poses a serious health risk for humans and animals. The present work aims to evaluate the presence of mycotoxins in talkan, a cereal-based food commonly consumed by the Turkic population. The presence of mycotoxins was investigated in a total of 50 samples obtained from Kazakhstan. After a preliminary screening using various ELISA kits, mycotoxins were confirmed and quantified by HPLC-MS/MS method. More than 28% of the samples were positive for at least one mycotoxin. The calculated probably daily intake for adults and children was 20% above the tolerable daily intake for aflatoxin B1 and deoxynivalenol, while it was above 100% for zearalenone, indicating a high risk for the Kazakh population. A total of 12 samples exhibited concentrations above the European maximum level for ochratoxin A, zearalenone and deoxynivalenol, however, these values were within the limits established by the Russia-Kazakhstan-Belarus Customs Union (TR CU 015/2011).
Background concentrations of main trace elements and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were investigated in pristine soils of the Beliy Island situated in the Kara Sea, Yamal autonomous region, North-West Siberia, Russia. Belyi Island is considered as reference landscpae for further investigation of soil polychemical contamination of the Yamal region. Three plots with different functional load (mature ecosystem, occasionally and permanently affected plots) were investigated with aim to evaluate the trend of long term polychemical effect on Stagnic Cryosols - benchmark soil type of the Yamal region. Accumulation of trace elements was not fixed in all soils investigated due to absence of direct sources of heavy metals on the territory of the Beliy Island. At the same time, there were essential alterations of PAHs fractional composition and content due to pronounced accumulation of the petroleum products combustion in the vicinity of the permanent meteorological station and former seasonal field base. The most intensive and statistically significant accumulation was noted for phenanthrene, anthracene, benzo[k]fluoranthene and benzo[a]pyrene. This indicates accumulation of the PAHs in soils, affected by the anthropogenic activity on the meteorological station. The most pronounced differences were revealed for the superficial layer of 0-5 cm. Deeper horizons of soil did not show accumulation of contaminants. Data obtained can be used for organization of further monitoring of contamination of soils and landscapes in Yamal as developing and industrial region.
The subject of the research is one of the largest World’s mine tailings disposal sites, i.e. Żelazny Most in the Legnica-Głogów Copper Mining District (south-western Poland), where flotation tailings are poured out after copper ore treatment. The protective hydraulic barrier made of 46 vertical drainage wells was characterized and evaluated in view of reduction of major contaminants (Cl, Na, SO4, Ca) migrating from the facility to its foreground. The efficiency of groundwater protection was determined on the basis of a new approach. In applied method the loads of characteristic and commonly recognizable compounds, i.e. salt (NaCl) and gypsum (CaSO4) were calculated, instead their chemical components. The temporal and spatial variability of captured main contaminants loads as well as its causes are discussed. The paper ends with the results of efficiency analyses of the barrier and with respect to the predicted increase in contaminant concentrations in the pulp poured out to the tailings site.