Assessment of acute PAH toxicity using prokaryote biosensors.

B J Reid, C J A MacLeod, K T Semple, H J Weitz, G I Paton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The aim of this study was to assess the acute toxicity of phenanthrene, pyrene and benzo[a]pyrene using fur-marked bacterial biosensors. Standard solutions of phenanthrene, pyrene and benzo[a]pyrene were produced using 50 mM hydroxpropyl cyclodextrin (HPCD) solution. Four microorganisms containing the lux cassette were used as the test biosensors and over the incubation time period (280 min), there was no significant decrease in bioluminescence in any of the biosensors. This study has shown that the three PAHs tested are not acutely toxic to the prokaryotic biosensors, although acute toxicity has been shown in other bioassays. These results question the rationale for using prokaryote biosensors to assess the toxicity of hydrophobic compounds, such as PAHs, from more complex environmental matrices.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBioremediation Technologies for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Compounds
EditorsA Leeson, BC Alleman
Place of PublicationColumbus
PublisherBattelle Press
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)1-57477-081-0
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Event5th International In Situ and On-Site Bioremediation Symposium - SAN DIEGO, Canada
Duration: 19 Apr 199922 Apr 1999


Conference5th International In Situ and On-Site Bioremediation Symposium


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