Nhung H. A. Nguyen, Roman Špánek, Vojtěch Kasalický, David Ribas, Denisa Vlková, Hana Řeháková, Pavel Kejzlara and Alena Ševců
ABSTRACT: While nano-scale and micro-scale zero-valent iron (nZVI and mZVI) particles show high potential for reme- diation of polluted soil aquifers and elimination of cyanobacterial blooms, this has required their release into the environment. This study compares the impact of 100 mg L−1 of nZVI and mZVI on natural plank- tonic microorganisms from a reservoir, incubated in 1.5 L batches over 21 days. In addition to counting cyanobacterial and algal cell numbers, bacterial community structure was assessed using Ion Torrent se- quencing and the number of cultivable bacteria determined using standard cultivation methods. Surpris- ingly, while mZVI had no significant effect on algal cell number, cyanobacteria numbers increased slightly after 14 days (P < 0.05). Algae were only marginally affected by nZVI after seven days (P < 0.05), while cyanobacteria numbers remained unaffected after 21 days. Total species richness and less common bacte- ria increased significantly when treated with mZVI (compared to nZVI). The abundance of Limnohabitans (Betaproteobacteria), Roseiflexus (Chloroflexi), hgcl_clade (Actinobacteria) and Comamonadaceae_unclassified (Betaproteobacteria) increased under nZVI treatment, while mZVI enhanced Opitutae_vadinHA64 (Verrucomicrobia) and the OPB35_soil_group (Verrucomicrobia). Interestingly, the number of cultivable bacteria increased significantly after three days in water with nZVI, and further still after seven days. nZVI shaped bacterial community both directly, through release of FeIJII)/FeIJIII), and indirectly, through rapid oxygen consumption and establishment of reductive conditions. The strong physico-chemical changes caused by nZVI proved temporary; hence, it can be assumed that, under natural conditions in resilient reservoirs or lakes, microbial plankton would recover within days or weeks.