The toxicological effect on pak choi of co-exposure to degradable and non-degradable microplastics with oxytetracycline in the soil

Guanlin Li, Yi Tang, Kiran Yasmin Khan, Yowhan Son, Jinho Jung, Xuchun Qiu, Xin Zhao, Babar Iqbal, Peter Joseph Stoffella, Gwang Jung Kim, Daolin Du

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Microplastics and antibiotics are emerging as ubiquitous contaminants in farmland soil, harming crop quality and yield, and thus threatening global food security and human health. However, few studies have examined the individual and joint effects of degradable and/or non-degradable microplastics and antibiotics on crop plants. This study examined the individual and joint effects of polyethylene (PE) and polylactic acid (PLA) microplastics and the antibiotic oxytetracycline (OTC) on pak choi by measuring its growth, photosynthesis, antioxidant enzyme activity, and metabolite levels. Microplastics and/or oxytetracycline adversely affected root weight, photosynthesis, and antioxidant enzyme (superoxide dismutase, catalase, and ascorbate peroxidase) activities. The levels of leaf metabolites were significantly altered, causing physiological changes. Biosynthesis of plant secondary metabolites and amino acids was altered, and plant hormones pathways were disrupted. Separately and together, OTC, PE, and PLA exerted phytotoxic and antagonistic effects on pak choi. Separately and together with OTC, degradable microplastics altered the soil properties, thus causing more severe impacts on plant performance than non-degradable microplastics. This study elucidates the effects on crop plants of toxicity caused by co-exposure to degradable or non-degradable microplastic and antibiotics contamination and suggests mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115707
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Volume268
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Dec

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors

Keywords

  • Antibiotic
  • Brassica rapa ssp. chinensis
  • Emerging contaminant
  • Joint toxicity
  • Microplastic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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