Benzyldimethyldodecyl ammonium chloride shifts the proliferation of functional genes and microbial community in natural water from eutrophic lake

Yuyi Yang, Weibo Wang

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Benzylalkyldimethylethyl ammonium compounds are pervasive in natural environments and toxic at high concentrations. The changes in functional genes and microbial diversity in eutrophic lake samples exposed to benzyldimethyldodecyl ammonium chloride (BAC) were assessed. BAC exerted negative effects on bacteria abundance, particularly at concentrations of 100 μg L−1 and higher. A significant increase in the number of the quaternary ammonium compound-resistant gene qacA/B was recorded within the 10 μg L−1 treatment after the first day of exposure. Not all antibiotic resistance genes increased in abundance as the concentrations of BAC increased; rather, gene abundances were dependent on the gene type, concentrations of BAC, and contact time. The nitrogen fixation-related gene nifH and ammonia monooxygenase gene amoA were inhibited by high concentrations of BAC after the first day, whereas an increase of the nitrite reductase gene nirK was stimulated by exposure. Microbial communities within higher treatment levels (1000 and 10 000 μg L−1) exhibited significantly different community composition compared to other treatment levels and the control. Selective enrichment of Rheinheimera, Pseudomonas, and Vogesella were found in the higher treatment levels, suggesting that these bacteria have some resistance or degradation capacity to BAC. Genes related with RNA processing and modification, transcription, lipid transport and metabolism, amino acid transport and metabolism, and cell motility of microbial community function were involved in the process exposed to the BAC stress. Shift pattern in the proliferation of functional genes and microbial community in natural water from eutrophic lake exposed to BAC was assessed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-365
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Early online date7 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018



  • Cyanobacteria
  • microbial diversity
  • nirK
  • qacEΔ1
  • Rheinheimera
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Benzalkonium Compounds/toxicity
  • Eutrophication
  • Lakes/microbiology
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical/toxicity
  • Microbial Consortia/drug effects
  • Pseudomonas/genetics
  • Metagenome/drug effects
  • Oxidoreductases/genetics

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