Effect of methyl tert-butyl ether and its metabolites on microbial activity and diversity in tidal mud flat

Won Sil Cho, Kyung Suk Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The effect of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) and its metabolites like tert-butyl alcohol (TBA), and formaldehyde (FA) on microbial activity and diversity in tidal mud flat was studied. MTBE, TBA, and FA with different concentrations were added into microcosms containing tidal mud samples, and placed at room temperature for 30 days. Then the physico-chemical properties such as pH, moisture contents and organic matter contents in the microcosms were measured. In addition, the total viable cell number and dehydrogenase activity were measured. Bacterial communities in the microcosms were monitored using a 16S rRNA-PCR-DGGE (Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis) fingerprinting method. As a result, the exposure concentrations of MTBE and its metabolites showed no correlation with the physico-chemical factors (P>0.05). Dehydrogenase activity and total viable cell number were decreased with increasing MTBE, TBA and FA concentrations (P<0.05). The toxic effect was higher the following order: FA > MTBE > TBA. Dominant species in the microcosms contaminated with MTBE and its metabolites were Sphingobacteria, Flavobacteria, delta-proteobacteria, gamma-proteobacteria. The diversity of bacterial community was not significantly influenced by MTBE and its metabolites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-342
Number of pages7
JournalKorean Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Volume36
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2008

Keywords

  • Formaldehyde(FA)
  • Methyl tert-butyl ether(MTBE)
  • Microbial activity
  • Microbial diversity
  • tert-butyl alcohol(TBA)
  • Tidal mud flat

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