My name is Marie Nider, and my project involves focusing on effects of select Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) on Arabidopsis thaliana, a model land plant.
This summer I have three new PPCPs to work with, two of which I have already started. These compounds are commonly used in household products, and therefore can be found in wastewater. Biosolid products from wastewater treatment plants are often applied to crops, which is why we have some concern that these compounds could affect terrestrial plants.
I test the effects of these PPCPs on three different parameters : germination, root growth, and mineral content. Presently I use Arabidopsis thaliana ecotype columbia, but provided time I will expand my research to other ecotypes. In the next section, I will detail some of the preliminary results of the two compounds I have begun to test.
BHA (Butlyated Hydroxanisole)
Uses: Widely used as a food preservative, and also found in food packaging, cosmetics, and rubber/petroleum products.
Preliminary Results: Early growth is significantly affected by concentrations of BHA upwards of 50 parts per million (ppm). However, much lower concentrations are typically found in wastewater, so I am currently working with concentrations in the .01 ppm to 1 ppm range.
Uses: commonly used in packaging, inks, agricultural chemicals, antihistamines and other pharmaceuticals.
Preliminary Results: These experiments are still in the early stages, so I won’t have any results to share until the next blog update. I am testing benzophenone at concentrations of .01, .1, 1, and 5 ppm.