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The Use of a Genetically Engineered Pseudomonas Species (Shk1) as a Bioluminescent Reporter for Heavy Metal Toxicity Screening in Wastewater Treatment Plant Influent

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Heavy metals are known to be inhibitory and toxic to the activated-sludge microbial community in biological wastewater treatment plants. Toxicity screening of aqueous mixtures of these heavy metal ions in plant influent could use both chemical and biological methods. As a biological method, luminescent bacterial bioreporters offer the advantages of a simple test procedure and rapid response.

Current biologically based methods for screening aqueous streams for toxicity are labor-intensive, inaccurate, or difficult to use in continuous monitoring applications. In the present study, a system was developed that is simple and easily automated. This system is based on the bacterium Shk1, a genetically engineered bioluminescent Pseudomonad whose parent strain was originally isolated from activated sludge. Compared with other bioluminescence-based systems (specifically, the Microtox assay), the system of the present study more accurately reflects the effects of the toxicity of common metal ions on activated-sludge respirometry without being overly sensitive to typical constituents of wastewater. The use of Shk1 as a bioluminescent reporter for heavy metal toxicity testing for the application of wastewater treatment influent toxicity screening is presented in this study.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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