Oxidative stress and metabolic perturbations in Escherichia coli exposed to sublethal levels of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid

The chlorophenoxy herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) is used extensively worldwide despite its known toxicity and our limited understanding of how it affects non-target organisms. Escherichia coli is a suitable model organism to investigate toxicity and adaptation mechanisms in bacteria exposed to xenobiotic chemicals. In the present study, the authors developed a methodical platform that uses atomic force microscopy, metabolomics and biochemical assays to quantify the response of E.coli exposed to sublethal levels of 2,4-D. This herbicide induced a filamentous phenotype in E. coli BL21 and a similar phenotype was observed in a selection of genotypically diverse E. coli strains (A0, A1, B1, and D) isolated from the environment. The filamentous phenotype was observed at concentrations 1000 times below field levels and was reversible upon supplementation with polyamines. Cells treated with 2,4-D had more compliant envelopes, significantly remodelled surfaces that were rougher and altered vital metabolic pathways including oxidative phosphorylation, the ABC transport system, peptidoglycan biosynthesis, amino acid, nucleotide and sugar metabolism. Most of the observed effects could be attributed to oxidative stress, consistent with increases in reactive oxygen species as a function of 2,4-D exposure. This study provides direct evidence that 2,4-D at sublethal levels induces oxidative stress and identifies the associated metabolic changes in E. coli.

Authors: Bhat SV, Booth SC, Vantomme EA, Afroj S, Yost CK, Dahms TE. ;Full Source: Chemosphere. 2015 Feb 3. pii: S0045-6535(14)01463-5. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.12.035. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Epub ahead of print] ;[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]