Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1186/s12302-020-00415-5
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Non-target screening for detecting the occurrence of plant metabolites in river waters
Author Nanusha, M.Y.; Krauss, M. ORCID logo ; Brack, W.
Source Titel Environmental Sciences Europe
Year 2020
Department WANA
Volume 32
Page From art. 130
Language englisch
Keywords Natural toxins, surface water, emerging contaminant, phytochemical, phytotoxin

Background: In surface waters, using liquid chromatography coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS), typically large numbers of chemical signals often with high peak intensity remain unidentified. These chemical signals may represent natural compounds released from plants, animals and microorganisms, which may contribute to the cumulative toxic risk. Thus, attempts were made to identify natural compounds in significant concentrations in surface waters by identifying overlapping LC-HRMS peaks between extracts of plants abundant in the catchment and river waters using a non-target screening (NTS) work flow.

Results: The result revealed the presence of several thousands of overlapping peaks between water – and plants from local vegetation. Taking this overlap as a basis, 12 SPMs from different compound classes were identified to occur in river waters with flavonoids as a dominant group. The concentrations of the identified compounds ranged from 0.02 to 5 µg/L with apiin, hyperoside and guanosine with highest concentrations. Most of the identified compounds exceeded the threshold for toxicological concern (TTC) (0.1 µg/L) for non-genotoxic and non-endocrine disrupting chemicals in drinking water often by more than one order of magnitude.

Conclusion: Our results revealed the contribution of chemicals eluted from the vegetation in the catchment to the chemical load in surface waters and help to reduce the number of unknowns among NTS high-intensity peaks detected in rivers. Since secondary plant metabolites (SPMs) are often produced for defence against other organisms and since concentrations ranges are clearly above TTC a contribution to toxic risks on aquatic organisms and impacts on drinking water safety cannot be excluded. This demands for including these compounds into monitoring and assessment of water quality.

Persistent UFZ Identifier
Nanusha, M.Y., Krauss, M., Brack, W. (2020):
Non-target screening for detecting the occurrence of plant metabolites in river waters
Environ. Sci. Eur. 32 , art. 130 10.1186/s12302-020-00415-5