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Report No.

A New approach to extracting biofilm from environmental plastics using ultrasound-assisted syringe treatment for isotopic analyses

Battulga, B. ; Atarashi-Andoh, Mariko  ; Nakanishi, Takahiro   ; Koarashi, Jun   

Characterizing plastic-associated biofilms is key to the better understanding of organic material and mineral cycling in the "Plastisphere"-the thin layer of microbial life on plastics. In this study, we propose a new method to extract biofilms from environmental plastics, in order to evaluate the properties of biofilm-derived organic matter through stable carbon ($$delta$$$$^{13}$$C) and nitrogen ($$delta$$$$^{15}$$N) isotope signatures and their interactions with radionuclides especially radiocesium ($$^{137}$$Cs). After ultrasound-assisted separation from the plastics, biofilm samples were successfully collected via a sequence of syringe treatments. Biofilm-derived organic matter samples (14.5-65.4 mg) from four river mouths in Japan showed $$^{137}$$Cs activity concentrations of $$<$$75 to 820 Bq kg$$^{-1}$$ biofilm (dw), providing evidence that environmental plastics, mediated by developed biofilms, serve as a carrier for $$^{137}$$Cs in the coastal environment. Significant differences in the ($$delta$$$$^{13}$$C and $$delta$$$$^{15}$$N signatures were also obtained for the biofilms, indicating the different sources, pathways, and development processes of biofilms on plastics.



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Category:Environmental Sciences



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