Presenter Information

Leila TuzlakFollow

Major

Biology

Anticipated Graduation Year

2020

Access Type

Open Access

Abstract

Microplastic and pharmaceuticals are common contaminants in urban streams, both interacting with stream biota including microbial communities. Previous studies have assessed the effects of these contaminants on microbial communities individually, but microplastics can adsorb pharmaceuticals from aquatic environments, with unknown impacts on microbes. It was predicted that microplastics exposed to pharmaceuticals would have different microbial communities relative to those on microplastic alone. This hypothesis was tested in mesocosms containing stream water and biofilm-colonized rocks, amended with microplastic with and without a mixture of 16 pharmaceuticals. After 5- and 10-days exposure, microbial communities colonizing microplastic were analyzed by amplicon sequencing.

Community Partners

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Faculty Mentors & Instructors

Dr. John J. Kelly, Professor, Biology Department

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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Impacts of Pharmaceuticals on Microbial Colonization of Microplastic in Streams

Microplastic and pharmaceuticals are common contaminants in urban streams, both interacting with stream biota including microbial communities. Previous studies have assessed the effects of these contaminants on microbial communities individually, but microplastics can adsorb pharmaceuticals from aquatic environments, with unknown impacts on microbes. It was predicted that microplastics exposed to pharmaceuticals would have different microbial communities relative to those on microplastic alone. This hypothesis was tested in mesocosms containing stream water and biofilm-colonized rocks, amended with microplastic with and without a mixture of 16 pharmaceuticals. After 5- and 10-days exposure, microbial communities colonizing microplastic were analyzed by amplicon sequencing.