Oxidative DNA damage caused by pulsed discharge with cavitation on the bactericidal function

Ken Ichi Kudo, Hironori Ito, Satoshi Ihara, Hiroaki Terato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Plasma-based techniques are expected to have practical use for wastewater purification with a potential for killing contaminated microorganisms and degrading recalcitrant materials. In the present study, we analysed oxidative DNA damage in bacterial cells treated by the plasma to unveil its mechanisms in the bactericidal process. Escherichia coli cell suspension was exposed to the plasma induced by applying an alternating-current voltage of about 1 kV with bubbling formed by water-cavitation, termed pulsed discharge with cavitation. Chromosomal DNA damage, such as double strand break (DSB) and oxidative base lesions, increased proportionally with the applied energy, as determined by electrophoretic and mass spectrometric analyses. Among the base lesions identified, the yields of 8-hydroxyguanine (8-OH-G) and 5-hydroxycytosine (5-OH-C) in chromosomal DNA increased by up to 4- and 15-fold, respectively, compared to untreated samples. The progeny DNA sequences, derived from plasmid DNA exposed to the plasma, indicated that the production rate of 5-OH-C exceeded that of 8-OH-G, as G:C to A:T transitions accounted for 65% of all base changes, but only a few G:C to T:A transversions were observed. The cell viabilities of E. coli cells decreased in direct proportion to increases in the applied energy. Therefore, the plasma-induced bactericidal mechanism appears to relate to oxidative damage caused to bacterial DNA. These results were confirmed by observing the generation of hydroxyl radicals and hydrogen peroxide molecules following the plasma exposure. We also compared our results with the plasma to those obtained with 137Cs γ-rays, as a well-known ROS generator to confirm the DNA-damaging mechanism involved.

Original languageEnglish
Article number365401
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - Sept 16 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • cavitation
  • mass spectrometry
  • oxidative DNA damage
  • pulsed discharge
  • reactive oxygen species
  • γ-rays

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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