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Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 21, Issue 13, pp 8112–8123 | Cite as

Genotoxic assessment and optimization of pressmud with the help of exotic earthworm Eisenia fetida

  • Sartaj Ahmad Bhat
  • Jaswinder Singh
  • Adarsh Pal VigEmail author
Research Article

Abstract

Genotoxicity of pressmud (PM) to Allium cepa was investigated to assess its toxic potential and to elucidate the effect of vermicomposting to reduce its toxicity. The PM produced as a waste by product of the sugar cane industry was mixed with cow dung (CD) at different ratios of 0:100 (V0), 25:75 (V25), 50:50 (V50), 75:25 (V75) and 100:0 (V100) (PM:CD) on a dry weight basis for vermicomposting with Eisenia fetida. Different concentrations of 100 % PM sludge extract (10 %, 20 %, 40 %, 60 %, 80 % and 100 %) and negative control (distilled water) and positive control (maleic hydrazide) were analyzed with A. cepa assay to evaluate frequency of chromosomal aberrations before and after vermicomposting. Percent aberration was greatest (30.8 %) after exposure to 100 % PM extract after 6 h but was reduced to 20.3 % after vermicomposting. Exposure to the extract induced c-mitosis, delayed anaphase, laggards, stickiness and vagrant aberrations. Microscopic examination of root meristem exposed to PM sludge extract showed significant inhibition of mitotic index. Also, the mitotic index decreased with increase in concentration of PM sludge extract. After vermicomposting the mitotic index was increased. However, increasing percentages of PM significantly affected the growth and fecundity of the worms and maximum population size was reached in the 25:75 (PM:CD) feed mixture. Nitrogen, phosphorus, sodium, electrical conductivity (EC) and pH increased from initial feed mixture to the final products (i.e., vermicompost), while organic carbon, C/N ratio and potassium declined in all products of vermicomposting. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was recorded to identify the changes in texture with numerous surface irregularities and high porosity that proves to be good vermicompost manure. It could be concluded that vermicomposting could be an important tool to reduce the toxicity of PM as evidenced by the results of genotoxicity.

Keywords

Vermicomposting Genotoxicity Industrial waste Pressmud Earthworm Allium cepa test Chromosomal abnormalities 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was financially supported by Department of Botanical and Environmental Science, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjab, India.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sartaj Ahmad Bhat
    • 1
  • Jaswinder Singh
    • 2
  • Adarsh Pal Vig
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Botanical and Environmental SciencesGuru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsarIndia
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyKhalsa College AmritsarPunjabIndia

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