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Chlordecone-contaminated epilithic biofilms show increased adsorption capacities

Hubas C., Monti D., Mortillaro J.M., Augagneur S., Carbon A., Duran R., Karama S., Meziane T., Pardon P., Risser T., Tapie N., Thiney N., Budzinski H., Lauga B.. 2022. Science of the Total Environment, 825 : 11 p..

DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.153942

The rivers of Guadeloupe and Martinique (French West Indies) show high levels of chlordecone (CLD) contamination. This persistent molecule has a dramatic impact on both aquatic ecosystems and human health. In these rivers, epilithic biofilms are the main endogenous primary producers and represent a central food source for fish and crustaceans. Recently, their viscoelastic properties have been shown to be effective in bio-assessing pollution in tropical environments. As these properties are closely related to the biochemical composition of the biofilms, biochemical (fatty acids, pigments, extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) monosaccharides) and molecular markers (T-RFLP fingerprints of bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes) were investigated. Strong links between CLD pollution and both biofilm biochemistry and microbial community composition were found. In particular, high levels of CLD were linked with modified exo-polysaccharides corresponding to carbohydrates with enhanced adsorption and adhesion properties. The observed change probably resulted from a preferential interaction between CLD and sugars and/or a differential microbial secretion of EPS in response to the pollutant. These changes were expected to impact viscoelastic properties of epilithic biofilms highlighting the effect of CLD pollution on biofilm EPS matrix. They also suggested that microorganisms implement a CLD scavenging strategy, providing new insights on the role of EPS in the adaptation of microorganisms to CLD-polluted environments.

Mots-clés : film comestible; chlordécone; composition chimique; adsorption; biochimie; pollution par l'agriculture; contamination; monosaccharide; marqueur génétique; guadeloupe; indicateur de pollution

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