Synergistic Effects of Plants and Bacteriophages in Wastewater treatment
Plants are widely used for wastewater treatment, but there are concerns that the plants might act as a reservoir of the pathogens. This project aims at using bacteriophages to specifically kill the pathogenic bacteria and use the roots of the aquatic plants as possible adsorbent material for bacteriophages. The synergetic effect between the plants and the immobilized bacteriophages on its roots are taken advantage of and used for sewage water treatment to kill specific bacteria, decrease the Biological oxygen demand (BOD) and Chemical oxygen demand (COD), decrease specific microbial count and neutralize the pH. The plants were soaked in the bacteriophage lysate for a fixed amount of time, dried and transferred to the sewage water. After 2-3 hours, CFU (colony forming units) and PFU (plaque forming units) for the sample and control were determined, the control being untreated plants dipped in sewage water. In second experiment the bacteriophage soaked roots were placed directly on a bacterial lawn against the root dipped only in water. The lysis zone around the roots showed that effective immobilization of phages on roots and the same was not observed on roots not treated with bacteriophage lysate. There was a considerable decrease in the CFU, BOD, COD was observed for the bacteriophage treated plants. The zone of clearance around the roots in the bacterial lawn plate of the second experiment showed compatibility of bacteriophages with plants.