Author(s): Gong P, Gasparrini P, Rho D, Hawari J, Thiboutot S,
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Abstract Long-term exposure to 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) can induce changes in the structure and activities of soil microbial communities. Such changes may be associated with an elevated microbial tolerance. An in situ respirometry technique based on the analysis of the substrate-induced respiration response to freshly added TNT was used to examine soil microbial tolerance to TNT at the community level. The specific growth rate derived by fitting an exponential equation to respiration data was taken as the measurement endpoint. Microbial tolerance was evaluated using a tolerance index defined as the ratio of the specific growth rate at a spiking dose of 2000 microg TNT/g soil to that of the control with no spiked TNT. Three soils with long-term exposure histories (TNT level in soil: 1.5, 32, and 620 microg TNT/g, respectively) exhibited significantly higher microbial community tolerance to TNT than two uncontaminated control soils. A soil containing 29,000 microg TNT/g exhibited the highest tolerance. Findings from this study support the hypothesis that pollution-induced community tolerance can be used as a means of identifying those compounds that have exerted selective pressure on the community. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.
This article was published in Ecotoxicol Environ Saf
and referenced in Journal of Aquaculture Research & Development