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Concentration-dependent effects of carbon nanotubes on growth and biphenyl degradation of Dyella ginsengisoli LA-4

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To enrich the understanding on interactions between carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and microbes, the responses of a biphenyl-degrading bacterium to single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and carboxyl single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT-COOHs) were investigated. Electron microscopy, viability test, cellular membrane integrity, and oxidative stress analyses indicated that CNT toxicity was mainly caused by physical piercing. Apart from antibacterial activities, the experimental results showed that CNTs enhanced cell growth and biphenyl degradation at certain concentrations (1.0–1.5 mg/L). The CNTs aggregated and adsorbed cells and biphenyl to form a CNTs-cells-biphenyl coexisting system, thus it created a suitable microenvironment for cell attachment and proliferation where the cells could utilize biphenyl easier for their growth. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report about CNTs’ impact on biodegradation efficacy and growth of aromatic-degrading bacterium.

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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21176040), the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University (No. NCET-13-0077), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. DUT14YQ107).

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Correspondence to Yuanyuan Qu.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Qu, Y., Wang, J., Zhou, H. et al. Concentration-dependent effects of carbon nanotubes on growth and biphenyl degradation of Dyella ginsengisoli LA-4. Environ Sci Pollut Res 23, 2864–2872 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-015-5532-1

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  • Biodegradation
  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Functional bacterium