📰 A new mechanism for microplastics to enter the food chain

Microplastics get into plankton aggregates, which are then ingested by fish and move up the food chain. Scientists from three Toulouse-based laboratories were the first to use microscopy Strength (The word force can denote a mechanical power over things, and also, metaphorically, a…) atomic to investigate the problem. In the works published in the journal science of In total (Total is invariably the quality of complete. From an accounting point of view, a…) Surroundingsthey confirmed the existence of a mechanism whereby the presence of microplastics promotes the aggregation of microalgae and discovered a second, previously unknown one.

Left: Image of microplastics in microalgae aggregates.
On the right, the investigation of the phenomenon by AFM. © Demir-Yilmaz et al.

That environmental pollution (Pollution is defined as what makes an environment unhealthy. Definition varies by…) through plastics affects all areas of life. Microplastics get into the marine food chains in particular, then reach the largest animals and theMan (A man is an adult male individual of the species Modern Man (Homo…). The interactions with plankton (Homer called the animals migrating on the surface of the waves plankton, from the Greek…) seem to be particularly important but are still poorly understood. Microalgae that make up most of the plankton and the first shortcut (The link in seaman’s language is a piece of chain (anchor line) measuring 15…) of food chain (A food chain is a series of living things in which each eats whoever eats it…) Water, can aggregate under certain conditions. However, microplastics cause the formation of these aggregates in which they mix and thus migrate to animals or spread at depth oceans (Oceans stilized Ωceans is a French documentary film directed by…). The heavier aggregates actually sink instead of float.

Researchers from the Toulouse Biotechnology Institute, Bio & Chemical Engineering (TBI, CNRS/INSA Toulouse/INRAE), the Laboratory for Analysis andarchitecture (Architecture can be defined as the art of constructing buildings.) of Systems (LAAS-CNRS) and the Laboratory of Molecular Interactions and Chemical and Photochemical Reactivity (IMRCP, CNRS/University of Toulouse/Paul Sabatier) have shown that microplastics enhance the formation of plankton aggregates, to which they bind, in two different ways . Published in the magazine science of the whole environmentThis work is based on a new methodology, centered around (Autour is the name given by the bird nomenclature in French (update)…) of a atomic force microscope (The atomic force microscope (or AFM for atomic force microscope) is a derivative of the microscope…) (AFM).

Microalgae release extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), a together (In set theory, a set intuitively denotes a collection…) of carbohydrates, proteins and nucleic acids, with which they colonize solid surfaces and cause their aggregation. The co-authors and authors confirmed that the presence of microplastics promotes the production of EPS. This had already been observed, but the team also showed that even if all EPS was removed, the microalgae aggregated even more in the presence of microplastics. This time it is the direct contacts through hydrophobic interactions between the microplastic and the cell wall that cause the phenomenon. Part of the team is now investigating whether micro- and nanoplastics, once ingested by animals or humans, can be absorbed by the body and what consequences this can have for humans health (Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not…).

The role of microplastics in microalgal cell aggregation: A molecular-level study using atomic force microscopy.
Irem Demir-Yilmaz, Nadiia Yakovenko, Clément Roux, Pascal Guiraud, Fabrice Collin, Christophe Coudret, Alexandra Ter Halle, and Cecile Formosa-Dague. science of the whole environment2022.

– Cecile Formosa-Dague – Responsible for research (Scientific research primarily refers to all measures taken to …) to CNRS (The National Center for Scientific Research, better known by its acronym CNRS, is the largest…)Toulouse Biotechnology Institute (CNRS/Inrae/Insa Toulouse) – formosa at insa-toulouse.fr
communication (Communication affects both humans (intrapsychic, interpersonal communication, etc.) INSIS – insis.communication on cnrs.fr

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