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Triclosan changes community composition and selects for specific bacterial taxa in marine periphyton biofilms in low nanomolar concentrations

Journal article
Authors Karl Martin Eriksson
Kemal Sanli
R. Henrik Nilsson
Alexander Eiler
Natàlia Corcoll
Carl-Henrik Johansson
Thomas Backhaus
Hans Blanck
Erik Kristiansson
Published in Ecotoxicology
Pages 1-12
ISSN 0963-9292
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Mathematical Sciences
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Pages 1-12
Language en
Subject categories Environmental Sciences, Environmental chemistry, Microbiology, Bioinformatics and Systems Biology


The antibacterial agent Triclosan (TCS) is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant due to its widespread use. Sensitivity to TCS varies substantially among eu- and pro-karyotic species and its risk for the marine environment remains to be better elucidated. In particular, the effects that TCS causes on marine microbial communities are largely unknown. In this study we therefore used 16S amplicon rDNA sequencing to investigate TCS effects on the bacterial composition in marine periphyton communities that developed under long-term exposure to different TCS concentrations. Exposure to TCS resulted in clear changes in bacterial composition already at concentrations of 1 to 3.16 nM. We conclude that TCS affects the structure of the bacterial part of periphyton communities at concentrations that actually occur in the marine environment. Sensitive taxa, whose abundance decreased significantly with increasing TCS concentrations, include the Rhodobiaceae and Rhodobacteraceae families of Alphaproteobacteria, and unidentified members of the Candidate division Parcubacteria. Tolerant taxa, whose abundance increased significantly with higher TCS concentrations, include the families Erythrobacteraceae (Alphaproteobacteria), Flavobacteriaceae (Bacteroidetes), Bdellovibrionaceae (Deltaproteobacteria), several families of Gammaproteobacteria, and members of the Candidate phylum Gracilibacteria. Our results demonstrate the variability of TCS sensitivity among bacteria, and that TCS can change marine bacterial composition at concentrations that have been detected in the marine environment.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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