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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Molecular characterization of microbial population dynamics during sildenafil citrate degradation.

Little is known about pharmaceutical and personal care products pollutants (PPCPs), but there is a growing interest in how they might impact the environment and microbial communities. The widespread use of Viagra (sildenafil citrate) has attracted great attention because of the high usage rate, the unpredictable disposal and the unknown potential effects on wildlife and the environment. Until now information regarding the impact of Viagra on microbial community in water environment has not been reported. In this research, for the first time, the genetic profile of the microbial community, developing in a Viagra polluted water environment, was evaluated by means of the 16S and 18S rRNA genes, for bacteria and fungi, respectively, amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and separated using the denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) technique. The DGGE results revealed a complex microbial community structure with most of the population persisting throughout the experimental period. DNA sequences from bands observed in the different denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis profiles exhibited the highest degree of identity to uncultured bacteria and fungi found previously mainly in polluted environmental and treating bioreactors. Biotransformation ability of sildenafil citrate by the microbial pool was studied and the capability of these microorganisms to detoxify a polluted water ecosystem was assessed. The bacterial and fungal population was able to degrade sildenafil citrate entirely. Additionally, assays conducted on Daphnia magna, algal growth inhibition assay and cell viability determination on HepG2 human cells showed that biotransformation products obtained from the bacterial growth was not toxic. The higher removal efficiency for sildenafil citrate and the lack of toxicity by the biotransformation products obtained showed that the microbial community identified here represented a composite population that might have biotechnological relevance to retrieve sildenafil citrate contaminated sites.[1]


  1. Molecular characterization of microbial population dynamics during sildenafil citrate degradation. De Felice, B., Argenziano, C., Guida, M., Trifuoggi, M., Russo, F., Condorelli, V., Inglese, M. Mol. Biotechnol. (2009) [Pubmed]
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