Analysis of Seedling Vigour in Bacteriologically Treated Sewage Water | OMICS International
ISSN: 2155-6199
Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation

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Analysis of Seedling Vigour in Bacteriologically Treated Sewage Water

Abha Singh and J.N. Srivastava*
Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Dayalbagh, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India
Corresponding Author : J.N. Srivastava
Department of Botany, Faculty of Science
Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Dayalbagh
Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India
E-mail: ja[email protected]
Received July 20, 2012; Accepted August 23, 2012; Published August 25, 2012
Citation: Singh A, Srivastava JN (2012) Analysis of Seedling Vigour in Bacteriologically Treated Sewage Water. J Bioremed Biodeg 3:163. doi: 10.4172/2155-6199.1000163
Copyright: © 2012 Singh A, et al. This is an open-a ccess article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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The study was concerned about the effect of the sewage water in the agricultural fields as an irrigation perspective. In vitro experiment was done where the seeds of Cicer arientinum and Vigna radiata were treated with the different concentrations of untreated and bacterial consortium treated sewage water. The effect of sewage water on seedling growth was suitable in the lower concentration (25%), whereas the higher concentration (50, 75 and 100%) was inhibitory in untreated. The sewage water after treatment was found to be of improved quality and showed good germination and seedling growth.

Bacterial consortium; Cicer arientinum; EM Technology; Seedling vigour; Sewage water; Vigna radiate; Vigour index
DO: Dissolved Oxygen; BOD: Biological Oxygen Demand; COD: Chemical Oxygen Demand; TDS: Total Dissolved Solids; TSS: Total Suspended Solids; v/v: volume by volume; i.e.: that is; APHA: American Public Health Association; NTU: Nephlometric Turbidity Unit; Fe: Iron; Cu: Copper; Pb: Lead; Ca: Calcium; Mg: Magnesium; cm: centimeter; mm: millimeter; g: gram; mgL-1: milligram per litre, ppm: Parts per million
Water is quite essential natural element for all kinds of life. During cultural evolution, natural resources have been brutally exploited by men. The loss in agriculture, the gain in industrialization and population explosion have stressed in natural resources. Ever increasing growth of industrialization causing gigantic cause of environmental pollution and affected not only surface but also ground water quality. The study of physico-chemical characteristics of waste water facilitates the rapid monitoring for the status of pollution of water body. The recycling of effluent for irrigation may not only solve the disposal problem, but also serve as the additional source of liquid fertilizer in diluted form [1].
Sewage waste of polluted areas plays an important role in root and shoots physiology. This sewage waste affects the soil structure and physiological properties [2]. Application of sewage water may improve growth, yield and plant constituents, but can lead to the accumulation of toxic level of heavy metal in soil and plant tissue [3]. Sewage disposal is a major problem in most of the Indian cities. In most of the cases the untreated sewage either finds way to the nearest water bodies or is intentionally put into the agricultural fields by the farmers as a substitute for irrigation.
Some scientists earlier observed some heavy metals in the sewage water which may accumulate to toxic levels in soil and plant tissues and may also inhibit a concomitant reduction in crop yield [4]. New technologies are being produced to access in the treatment and disposal of sewage and other waste water. One of the technology i.e., EM (Effective Microorganisms) Technology was being used in the study. This EM Technology was developed by Prof. Teruo Higa from University of Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan during 1970’s. It can be defined as a pollution control technology that uses biological system to catalyze the degradation or transformation of various toxic chemicals to lesser harmful forms. In this technology effective microbes are used to clean and treat the water. The basis of using these EM species of micro-organisms is that they contain various organic acids, enzymes, antioxidants and metallic chelates.
The present study deals with the impact of sewage water on the seedling growth and germination of Cicer arientinum and Vigna radiata.
Materials and Methods
Collection and physico-chemical analysis of sewage water
The sewage water was collected in sterilized plastic containers from main outlet of the residential area of Dayalbagh colony, Agra. Immediately after collection, the samples were analyzed for the physicchemical properties. Different parameters (colour, odour, turbidity, pH, TDS, TSS, alkalinity, organic carbon, ammonical nitrogen, DO, BOD, COD, Fe2+, Cu2+, Pb2+, Ca2+ and Mg2+) were analyzed by standard methods [5,6].
In vitro treatment of Cicer arientinum and Vigna radiata seeds by sewage water before and after treatment
The sewage waste water was treated with the bacterial consortium constituted of bacteria like Bacillus subtilis, B. fusiformis, B. cereus, B. thuringiensis, Cellulomonas sp., Lactobacillus sp., Rhodopseudomonas palustris, Rhodobacter spheroids and Nitrobacter sp. The waste water was inoculated with the 5% bacterial consortium and kept at 37°C in BOD incubator for 5 days.
After 5 days treatment of water, the seed germination studies were carried out using Whatman’s filter paper method recommended by International Seed Testing Association [7]. The seeds of C. arientinum and V. radiata were surface sterilized with 1% mercuric chloride solution for 2-3 minutes and washed with distilled water. 10 seeds were arranged at equi-distance randomly on each pre-sterilized petri plate lined with Whatman’s filter paper. A known volume of different concentrations (25, 50, 75 and 100% v/v) of untreated and bacterial consortium treated waste water samples was added in each petri plate. The plate applied with deionized water was served as control. The triplicates of the treatment were kept in diffused light at 27 ± 2°C in BOD incubator.
Seed Germination: Seed germination in each treatment was counted on 7th day for the calculation of germination percentage. The seedlings were randomly selected for the root-shoot length and biomass by dry weight method [8].
Vigour index: Germination seedlings were evaluated for vigour index. The root and shoot length of germinated seedling were measured and vigour index was calculated using the formula given by Abdul Boki and Anderson [9].
VI = Vigour Index; MRL = Mean Root Length; MSL = Mean Shoot Length; PG = Percentage Germination.
Results and Discussion
Physico-chemical characteristics of sewage water
The physico-chemical characteristics are shown in table 1. It was observed that it is alkaline and dark in colour. It contains higher values of dissolved solids, BOD and COD i.e. 36 and 280 mgL-1 respectively, these findings agree with some earlier studies [4,10]. It was also analyzed that with lapse of time, due to deposition of the contaminants, it became dark in colour.
The alkaline nature of sewage water may be due to the presence of Ca and Mg ions in high concentrations. TDS, BOD, COD, organic carbon and ammonical nitrogen were higher than the nitrogen in the sewage water as compared with the recommended standards, indicating the presence of high contents of organic matter [11].
After treatment the parameters were found to be in permissible limit. Upto 80% reduction in BOD and COD was observed. The findings are correlated with earlier studies of scientists as they showed sharp reduction in BOD (79-85%) and COD (72-80%) [12-14]. Nitrogen contents were also found to be in permissible limits after treatment with bacterial consortium.
Effect of untreated and treated sewage water on seed germination and seedling growth of C. arientinum and V. radiata
The seed germination and bioassay on exposure to different concentrations of the untreated and treated sewage water are depicted in Table 2 and 3 respectively. The maximum seed germination and biomass were recorded in 25% and minimum in 100% concentration of untreated water sample. All growth parameters gradually decreased with increasing concentration of waste water.
The slightly higher germination and growth at 25% concentration revealed that the sewage water significantly influenced the seedling growth of C. arientinum and V. radiata. These findings goes with the findings of Singh and Bhati [15], they observed that high concentration of waste water caused the reduction of seedling growth due to presence of high amount of complex organic/inorganic matter which coming in contact with germinating seed may enter the body system, resulting in ultimate damage to the seed. 100% concentration of sewage water showed a negative effect on germination response. The root and shoot biomass was also reduced with the increasing concentration of sewage water. The reduction in TDS, TSS, organic carbon, ammonical nitrogen, iron, copper, lead, calcium and magnesium upto permissible limits was also recorded after biological treatment.
After bacterial treatment it was observed that the germination seedling growth and vigour index parameters increased with increasing concentration of sewage water. The results of present study indicate that the bacterial treatment helps in reduction of water impurities. The minimum germination percentage and root shoot biomass was recorded in 25% while maximum in 100% concentration.
Heckman et al. [16] reported that sludge is a cheap and good raw material generated by industrial and municipal waste water treatment plant, which can support the microbial growth and could substitute completely the standard medium. In Canada, 29% of municipal sludge is used in agricultural soil after treatment [17]. The negative impact of sewage water on germination at higher concentration might be due to higher levels of dissolved solid, which prevents the germination by contributing the salinity of solutes absorbed by seeds before germination. Some scientists also showed increase in the percentage germination and seedling growth and decreased nitrogen contents after treatment with the bacteria [18].
In words of Prof. U.R Sangakkara, EM has made a significant difference to crop yields in developing countries. It is now used in over 130 countries on all the continents, and that in only 21 years. He also pointed out that adding EM to organic matter helped to efficiently recycle agricultural waste, reduce pollution, enhance the value of agricultural by-products, support environmental sanitation and promote crop growth [19].
The municipal waste water can be used for the restoration of degraded land, and the growth of vegetation having commercial and environmental value [15]. The possibility of reusing graywater is an effort to reduce hydraulic and pollutant loading to the waste treatment system. Sometimes BOD and COD of raw sewage are very high and limit its use in agricultural purpose. Sometimes seeds undergo physiological stress due to high salinity or due to excess quantities of micronutrients, heavy metals and toxic chemicals. Conclusively, it can be stated that if the waste water should be treated adequately or at least diluted before discharge onto the plant premises. It can be suitably used by the farmers for irrigation and can be reused in washing or toilets.
Authors are grateful and obliged to Prof. V.G. Das, Director and Prof. D.S. Rao, Head, Department of Botany, for their kind support and providing laboratory facilities. Also thankful to UGC for providing financial assistance as SRF.

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