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Special Issue "New Advances in Heavy Metal Pollution"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Science and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2022 | Viewed by 2770

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Silvia Díaz
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Genetics, Physiology and Microbiology, Faculty of Biology, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), C/José Antonio Novais, 12, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Interests: stress caused by exposure to heavy metals; arsenic and other toxic environmental pollutants in eukaryotic microorganisms

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Heavy metals and metalloids, such as arsenic, are highly toxic and persistent environmental pollutants. They are present in the atmosphere, the Earth's crust and water masses, and can also accumulate in biological systems. As a direct consequence, environmental pollutants cause a serious hazard to aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and are a major problem for all living beings. In recent years, exposure to these pollutants has been of increasing importance and has become a major public health and environmental pollution problem. Chronic exposure to heavy metals in humans through food, water, inhalation of contaminated air or direct contact exposure in an occupational context is increasingly common.

For this Special Issue of IJERPH, we invite submissions that examine the problems caused by heavy metal pollution, its impact on living beings and its environmental consequences, including manuscripts that focus on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of toxicity, as well as studies that describe strategies of resistance to these environmental pollutants and their potential biotechnological interest.

Dr. Silvia Díaz
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • heavy metal
  • metalloid
  • environmental pollutants
  • arsenic
  • essential and non-essential heavy metals

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
Heterologous Expression of the Phytochelatin Synthase CaPCS2 from Chlamydomonas acidophila and Its Effect on Different Stress Factors in Escherichia coli
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7692; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137692 - 23 Jun 2022
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Abstract
Phytochelatins (PCs) are cysteine-rich small peptides, enzymatically synthesized from reduced glutathione (GSH) by cytosolic enzyme phytochelatin synthase (PCS). The open reading frame (ORF) of the phytochelatin synthase CaPCS2 gene from the microalgae Chlamydomonas acidophila was heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli strain DH5α, to [...] Read more.
Phytochelatins (PCs) are cysteine-rich small peptides, enzymatically synthesized from reduced glutathione (GSH) by cytosolic enzyme phytochelatin synthase (PCS). The open reading frame (ORF) of the phytochelatin synthase CaPCS2 gene from the microalgae Chlamydomonas acidophila was heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli strain DH5α, to analyze its role in protection against various abiotic agents that cause cellular stress. The transformed E. coli strain showed increased tolerance to exposure to different heavy metals (HMs) and arsenic (As), as well as to acidic pH and exposure to UVB, salt, or perchlorate. In addition to metal detoxification activity, new functions have also been reported for PCS and PCs. According to the results obtained in this work, the heterologous expression of CaPCS2 in E. coli provides protection against oxidative stress produced by metals and exposure to different ROS-inducing agents. However, the function of this PCS is not related to HM bioaccumulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Heavy Metal Pollution)
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Article
Heavy-Metal Speciation Distribution and Adsorption Characteristics of Cr (VI) in the Soil within Sewage Irrigation Areas
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(10), 6309; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19106309 - 23 May 2022
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Abstract
While sewage irrigation relieves water shortages in Northern China, its excessive application triggers a series of environmental problems, such as heavy-metal pollution. Soil profile and river sediment profile samples from the sewage irrigation area (SIA) were collected by selecting the farmlands in which [...] Read more.
While sewage irrigation relieves water shortages in Northern China, its excessive application triggers a series of environmental problems, such as heavy-metal pollution. Soil profile and river sediment profile samples from the sewage irrigation area (SIA) were collected by selecting the farmlands in which sewage irrigation activity has been reported since the 1960s, around Huiji River (HJR) and Huafei River (HFR) in Kaifeng, Henan Province, China, as research areas. In this study, the total amount of heavy metals (Cr, Cd, Pb, Mn, Zn, and Ni) and the heavy-metal speciation analysis using the modified BCR sequential extraction method were used to evaluate the impacts of wastewater on agricultural soils and the potential risk. Furthermore, the least contaminated Cr (VI) was selected for the study of adsorption characteristics to determine the environmental capacity of soils for heavy metals when the composition of wastewater changes under long-term effluent irrigation conditions. The results show that: (1) the concentrations of heavy metals in soil continuously decreased with depth, while the opposite was observed in sediment, reflecting the continuous improvement in water quality over the historical period; (2) In the topsoil, the mean concentrations (mg·kg−1) in rank order are as follows: Mn (588.68) > Zn (284.21) > Pb (99.76) > Cr (76.84) > Ni (34.71) > Cd (3.25), where Cd exceeded the control value by 3.15 times around HFR, and sediment samples also showed higher heavy metal concentrations in HFR than in HJR; (3) Speciation distribution and risk assessment code (RAC) indicate that Mn and Cd were at medium risk and that Cd warrants attention due to its being a non-essential toxic element in humans; (4) The adsorption rates of soil in various layers in different profiles within SIAs for Cr (VI) gradually increased with the increasing initial content of Cr (VI). Among the three isothermal adsorption models, the fit result obtained by the Langmuir equation was superior to those obtained by the Freundlich equation and the linear equation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Heavy Metal Pollution)
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Article
Sublethal Effects of Arsenic on Oxygen Consumption, Hematological and Gill Histopathological Indices in Chanos chanos
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 12967; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182412967 - 08 Dec 2021
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Abstract
Background: The current study was performed aiming to evaluate possible changes in the effect on oxygen consumption, hematology and gill histopathological parameters in fish (Chanos chanos) upon exposure to sublethal concentration of the metalloid arsenic. Methods: Bioassay tests were conducted for [...] Read more.
Background: The current study was performed aiming to evaluate possible changes in the effect on oxygen consumption, hematology and gill histopathological parameters in fish (Chanos chanos) upon exposure to sublethal concentration of the metalloid arsenic. Methods: Bioassay tests were conducted for determining the LC50 values of arsenic for 96 h. Oxygen consumption in control and arsenic-exposed fish was estimated using Winkler’s method. Red blood corpuscular (RBC) count was examined with a Neubauer counting chamber under a phase contrast microscope. Hemoglobin (Hb) was estimated following the acid hematin method. Histopathological studies were carried by processing and staining the gill tissues with hematoxylin and eosin in accordance with standard histological techniques. They were then subjected to examination under a scanning electron microscope. Results: Chanos chanos exposed to 1/10th of LC50 (24.61%) for a period of 30 days exhibited a maximum decline in the rate of respiration, followed by a decline in RBC and Hb above 45.59% and 51.60%, respectively. Significant toxic lesions encompassing fused gill lamellae, detached gill epithelium, hyperplasia and hypertrophy of respiratory epithelium became heavy handed on the 30th day. Conclusion: Information synthesized from our study serves to be useful in monitoring and managing (As) contamination in the aquatic environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Heavy Metal Pollution)
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Review

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Review
Interactions with Arsenic: Mechanisms of Toxicity and Cellular Resistance in Eukaryotic Microorganisms
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(22), 12226; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182212226 - 21 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 704
Abstract
Arsenic (As) is quite an abundant metalloid, with ancient origin and ubiquitous distribution, which represents a severe environmental risk and a global problem for public health. Microbial exposure to As compounds in the environment has happened since the beginning of time. Selective pressure [...] Read more.
Arsenic (As) is quite an abundant metalloid, with ancient origin and ubiquitous distribution, which represents a severe environmental risk and a global problem for public health. Microbial exposure to As compounds in the environment has happened since the beginning of time. Selective pressure has induced the evolution of various genetic systems conferring useful capacities in many microorganisms to detoxify and even use arsenic, as an energy source. This review summarizes the microbial impact of the As biogeochemical cycle. Moreover, the poorly known adverse effects of this element on eukaryotic microbes, as well as the As uptake and detoxification mechanisms developed by yeast and protists, are discussed. Finally, an outlook of As microbial remediation makes evident the knowledge gaps and the necessity of new approaches to mitigate this environmental challenge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Heavy Metal Pollution)
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