Effects of soybean oil exposure on the survival, reproduction, biochemical responses, and gut microbiome of the earthworm Eisenia fetida

Xing Wang , Yating Du , Guangshen Shang , Junjie Zhai


Received April 11, 2022,Revised , Accepted July 12, 2022, Available online July 23, 2022

Volume 35,2023,Pages 23-36

With increasing production of kitchen waste, cooking oil gradually enters the soil, where it can negatively affect soil fauna. In this study, we explored the effects of soybean oil on the survival, growth, reproduction, tissue structure, biochemical responses, mRNA expression, and gut microbiome of earthworms (Eisenia fetida). The median lethal concentration of soybean oil was found to be 15.59%. Earthworm growth and reproduction were significantly inhibited following exposure to a sublethal concentration of soybean oil (1/3 LC50, 5.2%). The activity of the antioxidant enzymes total superoxide dismutase (T-SOD), peroxidase (POD), and catalase (CAT) were affected under soybean oil exposure. The glutathione (GSH) content decreased significantly, whereas that of the lipid peroxide malondialdehyde (MDA) increased significantly after soybean oil exposure. mRNA expression levels of the SOD, metallothionein (MT), lysenin and lysozyme were significantly upregulated. The abundance of Bacteroides species, which are related to mineral oil repair, and Muribaculaceae species, which are related to immune regulation, increased within the earthworm intestine. These results indicate that soybean oil waste is toxic to earthworms. Thus, earthworms deployed defense mechanisms involving antioxidant system and gut microbiota for protection against soybean oil exposure-induced stress.

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