Title

The Phytoremediation of Escherichia coli in Contaminated Water by Lemna minor, Salvinia minima, and Azolla caroliniana

Author(s)

Madison HanFollow

School Name

Spring Valley High School

Grade Level

11th Grade

Presentation Topic

Microbiology

Presentation Type

Non-Mentored

Abstract

Pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli can cause potentially fatal diseases like hemorrhagic colitis. Phytoremediation is the process in which plants remove contaminants like E. coli from the environment. Lemna minor, Salvinia minima, and Azolla caroliniana are three aquatic plant species that have been tested in previous phytoremediation research, but their abilities to expunge E. coli from water have not been directly compared. The purpose of this study was to test and compare the abilities of L. minor, S. minima, and A. caroliniana to reduce E. coli concentration in contaminated water. It was hypothesized that aquatic plants would decrease the concentration of E. coli in water due to the antimicrobial flavonoids they produce, and L. minor would kill more bacteria than S. minima and A. caroliniana because of its fast growth rate and extensive roots. Plants were placed in fertilizer solution, and E. coli was added to each sample. Initial and final concentrations (CFU/mL) of E. coli in the samples were determined after a serial dilution. L. minor, S. minima, and A. caroliniana resulted in a 97.890%, 90.292%, and 99.063% decrease in E. coli concentration, respectively. A Kruskal-Wallis test found that results were statistically significant, H(3) = 51.413, p < .001, and Dunn’s pairwise tests found significant differences between L. minor vs. control, S. minima vs. control, and A. caroliniana vs. control. The results of the present study suggest that L. minor, S. minima, and A. caroliniana are equally effective at remediating E. coli-contaminated water.

Location

HSS 116

Start Date

4-2-2022 11:30 AM

Presentation Format

Oral and Written

Group Project

No

COinS
 
Apr 2nd, 11:30 AM

The Phytoremediation of Escherichia coli in Contaminated Water by Lemna minor, Salvinia minima, and Azolla caroliniana

HSS 116

Pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli can cause potentially fatal diseases like hemorrhagic colitis. Phytoremediation is the process in which plants remove contaminants like E. coli from the environment. Lemna minor, Salvinia minima, and Azolla caroliniana are three aquatic plant species that have been tested in previous phytoremediation research, but their abilities to expunge E. coli from water have not been directly compared. The purpose of this study was to test and compare the abilities of L. minor, S. minima, and A. caroliniana to reduce E. coli concentration in contaminated water. It was hypothesized that aquatic plants would decrease the concentration of E. coli in water due to the antimicrobial flavonoids they produce, and L. minor would kill more bacteria than S. minima and A. caroliniana because of its fast growth rate and extensive roots. Plants were placed in fertilizer solution, and E. coli was added to each sample. Initial and final concentrations (CFU/mL) of E. coli in the samples were determined after a serial dilution. L. minor, S. minima, and A. caroliniana resulted in a 97.890%, 90.292%, and 99.063% decrease in E. coli concentration, respectively. A Kruskal-Wallis test found that results were statistically significant, H(3) = 51.413, p < .001, and Dunn’s pairwise tests found significant differences between L. minor vs. control, S. minima vs. control, and A. caroliniana vs. control. The results of the present study suggest that L. minor, S. minima, and A. caroliniana are equally effective at remediating E. coli-contaminated water.