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Understanding the Dependence of Micropollutant Biotransformation Rates on Short-Term Temperature Shifts


Meynet, Paola; Davenport, Russell J; Fenner, Kathrin (2020). Understanding the Dependence of Micropollutant Biotransformation Rates on Short-Term Temperature Shifts. Environmental Science & Technology, 54(19):12214-12225.

Abstract

Temperature is a key factor that influences chemical biotransformation potential and rates, on which exposure and fate models rely to predict the environmental (micro)pollutant fate. Arrhenius-based models are currently implemented in environmental exposure assessment to adapt biotransformation rates to actual temperatures, assuming validity in the 0–30 °C range. However, evidence on how temperature shifts affect the physicochemical and microbial features in biological systems is scarce, questioning the validity of the existing modeling approaches. In this work, laboratory-scale batch assays were designed to investigate how a mixed microbial community responds to short-term temperature shifts, and how this impacts its ability to biotransform a range of structurally diverse micropollutants. Our results revealed three distinct kinetic responses at temperatures above 20 °C, mostly deviating from the classic Arrhenius-type behavior. Micropollutants with similar temperature responses appeared to undergo mostly similar initial biotransformation reactions, with substitution-type reactions maintaining Arrhenius-type behavior up to higher temperatures than oxidation-type reactions. Above 20 °C, the microbial community also showed marked shifts in both composition and activity, which mostly correlated with the observed deviations from Arrhenius-type behavior, with compositional changes becoming a more relevant factor in biotransformations catalyzed by more specific enzymes (e.g., oxidation reactions). Our findings underline the need to re-examine and further develop current environmental fate models by integrating biological aspects, to improve accuracy in predicting the environmental fate of micropollutants.

Abstract

Temperature is a key factor that influences chemical biotransformation potential and rates, on which exposure and fate models rely to predict the environmental (micro)pollutant fate. Arrhenius-based models are currently implemented in environmental exposure assessment to adapt biotransformation rates to actual temperatures, assuming validity in the 0–30 °C range. However, evidence on how temperature shifts affect the physicochemical and microbial features in biological systems is scarce, questioning the validity of the existing modeling approaches. In this work, laboratory-scale batch assays were designed to investigate how a mixed microbial community responds to short-term temperature shifts, and how this impacts its ability to biotransform a range of structurally diverse micropollutants. Our results revealed three distinct kinetic responses at temperatures above 20 °C, mostly deviating from the classic Arrhenius-type behavior. Micropollutants with similar temperature responses appeared to undergo mostly similar initial biotransformation reactions, with substitution-type reactions maintaining Arrhenius-type behavior up to higher temperatures than oxidation-type reactions. Above 20 °C, the microbial community also showed marked shifts in both composition and activity, which mostly correlated with the observed deviations from Arrhenius-type behavior, with compositional changes becoming a more relevant factor in biotransformations catalyzed by more specific enzymes (e.g., oxidation reactions). Our findings underline the need to re-examine and further develop current environmental fate models by integrating biological aspects, to improve accuracy in predicting the environmental fate of micropollutants.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry
Dewey Decimal Classification:540 Chemistry
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > General Chemistry
Physical Sciences > Environmental Chemistry
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry
Language:English
Date:6 October 2020
Deposited On:05 Feb 2021 07:08
Last Modified:24 Jun 2024 01:46
Publisher:American Chemical Society (ACS)
ISSN:0013-936X
Additional Information:This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in Environmental Science & Technology, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.0c04017
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.0c04017
Project Information:
  • : FunderH2020
  • : Grant ID660815
  • : Project TitleReArrhenius - Re-evaluation of temperature correction in microbial biodegradation kinetics
  • : FunderFP7
  • : Grant ID614768
  • : Project TitlePRODUCTS - Predicting environment-specific biotransformation of chemical contaminants
  • Content: Accepted Version