A plant-microbial bioassay, based on the aquatic macrophyte Lemna minor L. (duckweed), was used to monitor biodegradation of nano- and micromolar concentrations of the phenylurea herbicide linuron. After 7 days of exposure to linuron, log-logistic-based dose-response analysis revealed significant growth inhibition on the total frond area of L. minor when linuron concentrations > or = 80 nM were added to the bioassay. A plant-protective effect was obtained for all concentrations > 80 nM by inoculation with either a bacterial consortium or Variovorax paradoxus WDL1, which is probably the main actor in this consortium. The outcome of the plant-microbe-toxicant interaction was also assessed using pulse amplitude-modulated chlorophyll a fluorescence and chlorophyll a fluorescence imaging. Linuron toxicity to L. minor became apparent as a significant decrease in the effective quantum yield (Delta F/Fm') within 90 min after exposure of the plants to linuron concentrations > or = 160 nM. Inoculation of the bioassay with the linuron-degrading bacteria neutralized the effect on the effective quantum yield at concentrations > or = 160 nM, indicating microbial degradation of these concentrations. The chlorophyll a fluorescence-based Lemna bioassay described here offers a sensitive, fast and cost-effective approach to study the potential of biodegrading microorganisms to break down minute concentrations of photosynthesis-inhibiting xenobiotics.
|Status||Gepubliceerd - 2002|