Metabolomics reveals the physiological response of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 (UWC1) after pharmaceutical exposure†
Human pharmaceuticals have been detected in wastewater treatment plants, rivers, and estuaries throughout Europe and the United States. It is widely acknowledged that there is insufficient information available to determine whether prolonged exposure to low levels of these substances is having an impact on the microbial ecology in such environments. In this study we attempt to measure the effects of exposing cultures of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 (UWC1) to six pharmaceuticals by looking at differences in metabolite levels. Initially, we used Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy coupled with multivariate analysis to discriminate between cell cultures exposed to different pharmaceuticals. This suggested that on exposure to propranolol there were significant changes in the lipid complement of P. putida. Metabolic profiling with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), coupled with univariate statistical analyses, was used to identify endogenous metabolites contributing to discrimination between cells exposed to the six drugs. This approach suggested that the energy reserves of exposed cells were being expended and was particularly evident on exposure to propranolol. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) concentrations were raised in P. putida exposed to propranolol. Increased energy requirements may be due to energy dependent efflux pumps being used to remove propranolol from the cell.