Cyanobacterial blooms are a serious threat to public health and water quality due to the production of cyanotoxins as a result of nutrient pollution from industry, agriculture, domestic waste as well as global warming. The microcystins (MCs) are the most abundant cyanotoxins consisting of >200 analogues causing both acute and chronic toxicity, sometimes resulting in death. In Asian countries, such as Sri Lanka, reports of kidney disease are constantly increasing. Although no direct link between metal and pesticide contamination in water and kidney disease has been found, high concentration of cyanobacteria cells in drinking water wells implies that the nephrotoxic effects of cyanotoxins might play a key factor in the reports of Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown aetiology (CKDu) in Sri Lanka. Therefore, we propose a nature-based approach for water treatment which will study the hypotheses that cyanotoxins can cause CKDu. Sri Lankan bacterial isolates ( sp., sp., sp., and sp.) known to degrade microcystins, were used to form biofilm on biochar from Sri Lankan crop residues, such as coconut shells. The immobilisation of the microbes was assessed via a high-throughput colourimetric assay, followed by monitoring the biodegradation rate of microcystins when added to the immobilised cultures. Biodegradation products were analysed and identified through molecular networking and quantified via LC-MS/MS. Ultimately, this project will provide safe water in line with UN Sustainable Development Goal 6.1 as well contributing in sustainable goals 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) and 12 (Responsible Production and Consumption).


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