A full-scale study evaluating an inoculum addition to stimulate in situ bioremediation of oily-sludge-contaminated soil was conducted at an oil refinery where the indigenous population of hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria in the soil was very low (103 to 104 CFU/g of soil). A feasibility study was conducted prior to the full-scale bioremediation study. In this feasibility study, out of six treatments, the application of a bacterial consortium and nutrients resulted in maximum biodegradation of total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) in 120 days. Therefore, this treatment was selected for the full-scale study. In the full-scale study, plots A and B were treated with a bacterial consortium and nutrients, which resulted in 92.0 and 89.7% removal of TPH, respectively, in 1 year, compared to 14.0% removal of TPH in the control plot C. In plot A, the alkane fraction of TPH was reduced by 94.2%, the aromatic fraction of TPH was reduced by 91.9%, and NSO (nitrogen-, sulfur-, and oxygen-containing compound) and asphaltene fractions of TPH were reduced by 85.2% in 1 year. Similarly, in plot B the degradation of alkane, aromatic, and NSO plus asphaltene fractions of TPH was 95.1, 94.8, and 63.5%, respectively, in 345 days. However, in plot C, removal of alkane (17.3%), aromatic (12.9%), and NSO plus asphaltene (5.8%) fractions was much less. The population of introduced Acinetobacter baumannii strains in plots A and B was stable even after 1 year. Physical and chemical properties of the soil at the bioremediation site improved significantly in 1 year.
A bioremediation treatment that consisted of liming, fertilization, and tilling was evaluated on the laboratory scale for its effectiveness in cleaning up a sand, a loam, and a clay loam contaminated at 50 to 135 mg g of soil−1 by gasoline, jet fuel, heating oil, diesel oil, or bunker C. Experimental variables included incubation temperatures of 17, 27, and 37°C; no treatment; bioremediation treatment; and poisoned evaporation controls. Hydrocarbon residues were determined by quantitative gas chromatography or, in the case of bunker C, by residual weight determination. Four-point depletion curves were obtained for the described experimental variables. In all cases, the disappearance of hydrocarbons was maximal at 27°C and in response to bioremediation treatment. Poisoned evaporation controls underestimated the true biodegradation contribution, but nevertheless, they showed that biodegradation makes only a modest contribution to gasoline disappearance from soil. Bunker C was found to be structurally recalcitrant, with close to 80% persisting after 1 year of incubation. The three medium distillates, jet fuel, heating oil, and diesel oil, increased in persistence in the listed order but responded well to bioremediation treatment under all test conditions. With bioremediation treatment, it should be possible to reduce hydrocarbons to insignificant levels in contaminated soils within one growing season.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are common contaminants in a municipal solid waste (MSW) composting site. Knowledge of changes in microbial structure is useful to identify particular PAH degraders. However, the microbial community in the MSW composting soil and its change associated with prolonged exposure to PAHs and subsequent biodegradation remain largely unknown. In this study, anthracene was selected as a model compound. The bacterial community structure was investigated using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP) and 16S rRNA gene clone library analysis. The two bimolecular tools revealed a large shift of bacterial community structure after anthracene amendment and subsequent biodegradation. Genera Methylophilus, Mesorhizobium, and Terrimonas had potential links to anthracene biodegradation, suggesting a consortium playing an active role.
Anthracene; Microbial community; Biodegradation; Bioremediation
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are widespread toxic pollutants. Bioremediation might be an effective, cost competitive and environment-friendly solution for remediating environmental matrices contaminated by PCBs but it is still unsatisfactory, mostly for the limited biodegradation potential of bacteria involved in the processes. Very little is known about mitosporic fungi potential in PCB bioremediation and their occurrence in actual site historically contaminated soils. In the present study, we characterised the native mycoflora of an aged dump site soil contaminated by about 0.9 g kg-1 of Aroclor 1260 PCBs and its changing after aerobic biotreatment with a commercial complex source of bacteria and fungi. Fungi isolated from the soil resulting from 120 days of treatment were screened for their ability to adsorb or metabolise 3 target PCBs.
The original contaminated soil contained low loads of few fungal species mostly belonging to the Scedosporium, Penicillium and Aspergillus genera. The fungal load and biodiversity generally decreased throughout the aerobic treatment. None of the 21 strains isolated from the treated soil were able to grow on biphenyl (200 mg L-1) or a mixture of 2-chlorobiphenyl, 4,4'-dichlorobiphenyl and 2,2',5,5'-tetrachlorobiphenyl (20 mg L-1 each) as sole carbon sources. However, 16 of them grew in a mineral medium containing the same PCBs mixture and glucose (10 g L-1). Five of the 6 isolates, which displayed the faster and more extensive growth under the latter conditions, were found to degrade the 3 PCBs apparently without the involvement of ligninolytic enzymes; they were identified as Penicillium chrysogenum, Scedosporium apiospermum, Penicillium digitatum and Fusarium solani. They are the first PCB degrading strains of such species reported so far in the literature.
The native mycoflora of the actual site aged heavily contaminated soil was mainly constituted by genera often reported as able to biodegrade organopollutants. It was generally remarkably reduced after the biotreatment, which however resulted in the selection of few mitosporic fungal species able to biodegrade PCBs. This is the first study in which an extensive characterisation of the cultivable indigenous mycoflora of an actual site aged PCB contaminated soil, as well as its changes upon soil bioremediation treatment, was conducted. Moreover, this is the first paper in which 5 strains ascribable to 4 mitosporic species able to biodegrade PCB are reported in the literature.
Biodegradation of diesel oil (5 g(middot)kg [soil dry weight](sup-1)) was investigated in five alpine subsoils, differing in soil type and bedrock, in laboratory experiments during 20 days at 10(deg)C. The biodegradation activities of the indigenous soil microorganisms and of a psychrotrophic diesel oil-degrading inoculum and the effect of biostimulation by inorganic fertilization (C/N/P ratio = 100:10:2) were determined. Fertilization significantly enhanced diesel oil biodegradation activity of the indigenous soil microorganisms. Biostimulation by fertilization enhanced diesel oil biodegradation to a significantly greater degree than bioaugmentation with the psychrotrophic inoculum. In none of the five soils did fertilization plus inoculation result in a higher decontamination than fertilization alone. A total of 16 to 23% of the added diesel oil contamination was lost by abiotic processes. Total decontamination without and with fertilization was in the range of 16 to 31 and 27 to 53%, respectively.
Degradation of oil on beaches is, in general, limited by the supply of inorganic nutrients. In order to obtain a more systematic understanding of the effects of nutrient addition on oil spill bioremediation, beach sediment microcosms contaminated with oil were treated with different levels of inorganic nutrients. Oil biodegradation was assessed respirometrically and on the basis of changes in oil composition. Bacterial communities were compared by numerical analysis of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) profiles of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA genes and cloning and sequencing of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA genes. Nutrient amendment over a wide range of concentrations significantly improved oil degradation, confirming that N and P limited degradation over the concentration range tested. However, the extent and rate of oil degradation were similar for all microcosms, indicating that, in this experiment, it was the addition of inorganic nutrients rather than the precise amount that was most important operationally. Very different microbial communities were selected in all of the microcosms. Similarities between DGGE profiles of replicate samples from a single microcosm were high (95% ± 5%), but similarities between DGGE profiles from replicate microcosms receiving the same level of inorganic nutrients (68% ± 5%) were not significantly higher than those between microcosms subjected to different nutrient amendments (63% ± 7%). Therefore, it is apparent that the different communities selected cannot be attributed to the level of inorganic nutrients present in different microcosms. Bioremediation treatments dramatically reduced the diversity of the bacterial community. The decrease in diversity could be accounted for by a strong selection for bacteria belonging to the alkane-degrading Alcanivorax/Fundibacter group. On the basis of Shannon-Weaver indices, rapid recovery of the bacterial community diversity to preoiling levels of diversity occurred. However, although the overall diversity was similar, there were considerable qualitative differences in the community structure before and after the bioremediation treatments.
We investigated the feasibility of bioremediation as a treatment option for a chronically diesel-oil-polluted soil in an alpine glacier area at an altitude of 2,875 m above sea level. To examine the efficiencies of natural attenuation and biostimulation, we used field-incubated lysimeters (mesocosms) with unfertilized and fertilized (N-P-K) soil. For three summer seasons (July 1997 to September 1999), we monitored changes in hydrocarbon concentrations in soil and soil leachate and the accompanying changes in soil microbial counts and activity. A significant reduction in the diesel oil level could be achieved. At the end of the third summer season (after 780 days), the initial level of contamination (2,612 ± 70 μg of hydrocarbons g [dry weight] of soil−1) was reduced by (50 ± 4)% and (70 ± 2)% in the unfertilized and fertilized soil, respectively. Nonetheless, the residual levels of contamination (1,296 ± 110 and 774 ± 52 μg of hydrocarbons g [dry weight] of soil−1 in the unfertilized and fertilized soil, respectively) were still high. Most of the hydrocarbon loss occurred during the first summer season ([42 ± 6]% loss) in the fertilized soil and during the second summer season ([41 ± 4]% loss) in the unfertilized soil. In the fertilized soil, all biological parameters (microbial numbers, soil respiration, catalase and lipase activities) were significantly enhanced and correlated significantly with each other, as well as with the residual hydrocarbon concentration, pointing to the importance of biodegradation. The effect of biostimulation of the indigenous soil microorganisms declined with time. The microbial activities in the unfertilized soil fluctuated around background levels during the whole study.
While the contribution of Bacteria to bioremediation of oil-contaminated shorelines is well established, the response of Archaea to spilled oil and bioremediation treatments is unknown. The relationship between archaeal community structure and oil spill bioremediation was examined in laboratory microcosms and in a bioremediation field trial. 16S rRNA gene-based PCR and denaturing gradient gel analysis revealed that the archaeal community in oil-free laboratory microcosms was stable for 26 days. In contrast, in oil-polluted microcosms a dramatic decrease in the ability to detect Archaea was observed, and it was not possible to amplify fragments of archaeal 16S rRNA genes from samples taken from microcosms treated with oil. This was the case irrespective of whether a bioremediation treatment (addition of inorganic nutrients) was applied. Since rapid oil biodegradation occurred in nutrient-treated microcosms, we concluded that Archaea are unlikely to play a role in oil degradation in beach ecosystems. A clear-cut relationship between the presence of oil and the absence of Archaea was not apparent in the field experiment. This may have been related to continuous inoculation of beach sediments in the field with Archaea from seawater or invertebrates and shows that the reestablishment of Archaea following bioremediation cannot be used as a determinant of ecosystem recovery following bioremediation. Comparative 16S rRNA sequence analysis showed that the majority of the Archaea detected (94%) belonged to a novel, distinct cluster of group II uncultured Euryarchaeota, which exhibited less than 87% identity to previously described sequences. A minor contribution of group I uncultured Crenarchaeota was observed.
We collected urban soil samples impacted by polycyclic
hydrocarbons (PAHs) from a sorbent-based remediation field trial to
address concerns about unwanted side-effects of 2% powdered (PAC)
or granular (GAC) activated carbon amendment on soil microbiology
and pollutant biodegradation. After three years, total microbial cell
counts and respiration rates were highest in the GAC amended soil.
The predominant bacterial community structure derived from denaturing
gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) shifted more strongly with time
than in response to AC amendment. DGGE band sequencing revealed the
presence of taxa with closest affiliations either to known PAH degraders,
e.g. Rhodococcus jostii RHA-1, or taxa known to harbor
PAH degraders, e.g. Rhodococcus erythropolis, in
all soils. Quantification by real-time polymerase chain reaction yielded
similar dioxygenases gene copy numbers in unamended, PAC-, or GAC-amended
soil. PAH availability assessments in batch tests showed the greatest
difference of 75% with and without biocide addition for unamended
soil, while the lowest PAH availability overall was measured in PAC-amended,
live soil. We conclude that AC had no detrimental effects on soil
microbiology, AC-amended soils retained the potential to biodegrade
PAHs, but the removal of available pollutants by biodegradation was
most notable in unamended soil.
The addition of specific nontoxic inducers of catabolic operons to contaminated sites is an approach that may enhance the efficiency of in situ biodegradation. We determined the genetic response of six pseudomonads to salicylate (also known as 2-hydroxybenzoate) added directly to 50 g of nonsterile soil samples. The strains, isolated from a polyaromatic hydrocarbon-contaminated soil, metabolized naphthalene as the sole source of available carbon, and their DNA sequences show significant homology to the nahAB genes of the degradative plasmid NAH7. Duplicate nonsterile soil cultures were incubated for up to 30 days. Experimental soil cultures were seeded with naphthalene-degrading strains (10(8) CFU g-1) originally isolated from the soil and amended with salicylate (16 or 160 micrograms g-1). Soil samples were analyzed periodically for the population density of heterotrophic bacteria and naphthalene degraders and for the abundance of the naphthalene-degradative genotype in the bacterial community. At 160 micrograms g-1, salicylate sustained the density of naphthalene degraders at the introduced density for 30 days in addition to producing a two- to sixfold increase in the occurrence in the bacterial community of DNA sequences homologous to the nah operon. No change in recoverable bacterial population densities was observed when soil samples were amended with 16 micrograms of salicylate g-1, but this concentration of salicylate induced a significant increase in the level of nah-related genes in the population.
Rhizoremediation is the use of plant–microbe interaction for the enhanced degradation of contaminants. Rhizosphere bioremediation of pyrethroid pesticides will offer an attractive and potentially inexpensive approach for remediation of contaminated soil. The present study was done with the aim of establishment of highly effective remediation method using plant with degradative rhizosphere and isolation of naturally occurring rhizosphere associated potential degrader providing the possibility of both environmental and insitu detoxification of cypermethrin contamination. The remediation efficacy of Pennisetum pedicellatum was investigated using green house pot culture experiments in cypermethrin amended potting soil mix (10, 25, 50, 75 and 100 mg/kg) for periodic evaluation of changes in concentration. Total proportion of cypermethrin degraders was found to be higher in rhizosphere soil compared to bulk soil. The cypermethrin degrading strain associated with rhizosphere capable of surviving at higher concentrations of cypermethrin was designated as potential degrader. On the basis of morphological characteristics, biochemical tests and 16S rDNA analysis, isolate was identified as Stenotrophomonas maltophilia MHF ENV 22. Bioremediation data of cypermethrin by strain MHF ENV22 examined by HPLC and mass spectroscopy, indicated 100, 50 and 58 % degradation within the time period of 72, 24 and 192 h at concentrations 25, 50 and 100 mg/kg, respectively. This is the first report of effective degradation of cypermethrin by Stenotrophomonas spp. isolated from rhizosphere of Pennisetum pedicellatum. Rhizoremediation strategy will be of immense importance in remediation of cypermethrin residues to a level permissible for technogenic and natural environment.
Rhizoremediation; Soil; Cypermethrin; Stenotrophomonas maltophilia MHF ENV 22
The widespread problem caused due to petroleum products, is their discharge and accidental spillage in marine environment
proving to be hazardous to the surroundings as well as life forms. Thus remediation of these hydrocarbons by natural
decontamination process is of utmost importance. Bioremediation is a non-invasive and cost effective technique for the clean-up of
these petroleum hydrocarbons. In this study we have investigated the ability of microorganisms present in the sediment sample to
degrade these hydrocarbons, crude oil in particular, so that contaminated soils and water can be treated using microbes. Sediments
samples were collected once in a month for a period of twelve months from area surrounding Ennore creek and screened for
hydrocarbon degrading bacteria. Of the 113 crude oil degrading isolates 15 isolates were selected and cultivated in BH media with
1% crude oil as a sole carbon and energy source. 3 efficient crude oil bacterial isolates Bacillus subtilis I1, Pseudomonas aeruginosa I5
and Pseudomonas putida I8 were identified both biochemically and phylogenetically. The quantitative analysis of biodegradation is
carried out gravimetrically and highest degradation rate, 55% was recorded by Pseudomonas aeruginosa I5 isolate.
To investigate the possible cometabolic biodegradation of benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), crude oil spiked with [7-(sup14)C]BaP and unlabeled BaP was added to soil with no known pollution history, to give 34 g of oil and 67 mg of BaP/kg of dry soil. The oil-soil mixture was amended with mineral nutrients and incubated in an airtight container with continuous forced aeration. Total CO(inf2) and (sup14)CO(inf2) in the off-gas were trapped and quantified. Soil samples were Soxhlet extracted with dichloromethane at seven time points during the 150-day incubation period, and the extracted soil was subjected to further fractionation in order to recover reversibly and irreversibly bound radiocarbon. Radiocarbon recovery was 100% (plusmn) 3% for each time point. During the first 50 days of incubation, no (sup14)CO(inf2) was evolved, but over the next 100 days, 50% of the BaP radiocarbon was evolved as (sup14)CO(inf2). At 150 days, only 5% of the intact BaP and 23% of the crude oil remained. Of the remaining radiolabel, 20% was found in solvent-extractable metabolites and 25% was incorporated into soil organic matter. Only 1/10 of this could be solubilized by chemical hydrolysis. An abiotic control experiment exhibited binding of only 2% of the BaP, indicating the microbial nature of the BaP transformations. We report that in soil containing suitable cosubstrates, BaP can be completely degraded.
The study focused on assessing the influence of rhamnolipids on the phytotoxicity of diesel oil-contaminated soil samples. Tests evaluating the seed germination and growth inhibition of four terrestrial plant species (alfalfa, sorghum, mustard and cuckooflower) were carried out at different rhamnolipid concentrations (ranging from 0 to 1.200 mg/kg of wet soil). The experiments were performed in soil samples with a different diesel oil content (ranging from 0 to 25 ml/kg of wet soil). It was observed that the sole presence of rhamnolipids may be phytotoxic at various levels, which is especially notable for sorghum (the germination index decreased to 41 %). The addition of rhamnolipids to diesel oil-contaminated soil samples contributed to a significant increase of their phytotoxicity. The most toxic effect was observed after a rhamnolipid-supplemented diesel oil biodegradation, carried out with the use of a hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria consortium. The supplemention of rhamnolipids (600 mg/kg of wet soil) resulted in a decrease of seed germination of all studied plant species and an inhibition of microbial activity, which was measured by the 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride tests. These findings indicate that the presence of rhamnolipids may considerably increase the phytotoxicity of diesel oil. Therefore, their use at high concentrations, during in situ bioremediation processes, should be avoided in a terrestrial environment.
Bacterial consortium; Diesel oil; Rhamnolipids; Seed germination; Phytotoxicity
An increasing interest in bioremediation of hydrocarbon polluted sites raises the question of the influence of seasonal and diurnal changes on soil-water temperature on biodegradation of BTEX, a widespread group of (sub)-surface contaminants. Therefore, we investigated the impact of a wide range of varying soil-water temperature on biodegradation of toluene under aerobic conditions. To see the seasonal impact of temperature, three sets of batch experiments were conducted at three different constant temperatures: 10°C, 21°C, and 30°C. These conditions were considered to represent (1) winter, (2) spring and/or autumn, and (3) summer seasons, respectively, at many polluted sites. Three additional sets of batch experiments were performed under fluctuating soil-water temperature cases (21<>10°C, 30<>21°C, and 10<>30°C) to mimic the day–night temperature patterns expected during the year. The batches were put at two different temperatures alternatively to represent the day (high-temperature) and night (low-temperature) times. The results of constant- and fluctuating-temperature experiments show that toluene degradation is strongly dependent on soil-water temperature level. An almost two-fold increase in toluene degradation time was observed for every 10°C decrease in temperature for constant-temperature cases. Under fluctuating-temperature conditions, toluene degraders were able to overcome the temperature stress and continued thriving during all considered weather scenarios. However, a slightly longer time was taken compared to the corresponding time at daily mean temperature conditions. The findings of this study are directly useful for bioremediation of hydrocarbon-polluted sites having significant diurnal and seasonal variations of soil-water temperature.
Biodegradation; Toluene; BTEX; Varying temperature; Soil-water pollution
The potential for biodegradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at low temperature and under anaerobic conditions is not well understood, but such biodegradation would be very useful for remediation of polluted sites. Biodegradation of a mixture of 11 different PAHs with two to five aromatic rings, each at a concentration of 10 μg/ml, was studied in enrichment cultures inoculated with samples of four northern soils. Under aerobic conditions, low temperature severely limited PAH biodegradation. After 90 days, aerobic cultures at 20°C removed 52 to 88% of the PAHs. The most extensive PAH degradation under aerobic conditions at 7°C, 53% removal, occurred in a culture from creosote-contaminated soil. Low temperature did not substantially limit PAH biodegradation under nitrate-reducing conditions. Under nitrate-reducing conditions, naphthalene, 2-methylnaphthalene, fluorene, and phenanthrene were degraded. The most extensive PAH degradation under nitrate-reducing conditions at 7°C, 39% removal, occurred in a culture from fuel-contaminated Arctic soil. In separate transfer cultures from the above Arctic soil, incubated anaerobically at 7°C, removal of 2-methylnaphthalene and fluorene was stoichiometrically coupled to nitrate removal. Ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis suggested that enrichment resulted in a few predominant bacterial populations, including members of the genera Acidovorax, Bordetella, Pseudomonas, Sphingomonas, and Variovorax. Predominant populations from different soils often included phylotypes with nearly identical partial 16S rRNA gene sequences (i.e., same genus) but never included phylotypes with identical ribosomal intergenic spacers (i.e., different species or subspecies). The composition of the enriched communities appeared to be more affected by presence of oxygen, than by temperature or source of the inoculum.
Bioremediation is defined as the act of adding or improving the availability of materials (e.g., nutrients, microorganisms, or oxygen) to contaminated environments to cause an acceleration of natural biodegradative processes. The results of field experiments and trials following actual spill incidents have been reviewed to evaluate the feasibility of this approach as a treatment for oil contamination in the marine environment. The ubiquity of oil-degrading microorganisms in the marine environment is well established, and research has demonstrated the capability of the indigenous microflora to degrade many components of petroleum shortly after exposure. Studies have identified numerous factors which affect the natural biodegradation rates of oil, such as the origin and concentration of oil, the availability of oil-degrading microorganisms, nutrient concentrations, oxygen levels, climatic conditions, and sediment characteristics. Bioremediation strategies based on the application of fertilizers have been shown to stimulate the biodegradation rates of oil in aerobic intertidal sediments such as sand and cobble. The ratio of oil loading to nitrogen concentration within the interstitial water has been identified to be the principal controlling factor influencing the success of this bioremediation strategy. However, the need for the seeding of natural environments with hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria has not been clearly demonstrated under natural environmental conditions. It is suggested that bioremediation should now take its place among the many techniques available for the treatment of oil spills, although there is still a clear need to set operational limits for its use. On the basis of the available evidence, we have proposed preliminary operational guidelines for bioremediation on shoreline environments.
We evaluated two nonionic surfactants, one hydrophobic (Brij 30) and one hydrophilic (C12E8), for their ability to enhance the biodegradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in contaminated soil after it had been treated in an aerobic bioreactor. The effects of each surfactant were evaluated at doses corresponding to equilibrium aqueous-phase concentrations well above the surfactant’s critical micelle concentration (CMC), slightly above the CMC, and below the CMC. The concentrations of all 3- and 4-ring PAHs were significantly lower in the soil amended with Brij 30 at the two lower doses compared to controls, whereas removal of only the 3-ring PAHs was significantly enhanced at the highest Brij 30 dose. In contrast, C12E8 did not enhance PAH removal at any dose. In the absence of surfactant, <5% of any PAH desorbed from the soil over an 18-d period. Brij 30 addition at the lowest dose significantly increased the desorption of most PAHs, whereas the addition of C12E8 at the lowest dose actually decreased the desorption of all PAHs. These findings suggest that the effects of the two surfactants on PAH biodegradation could be explained by their effects on PAH bioavailability. Overall, this study demonstrates that the properties of the surfactant and its dose relative to the corresponding aqueous-phase concentration are important factors in designing systems for surfactant-enhanced bioremediation of PAH-contaminated soils in which PAH bioavailability is limited.
Chitin, wheat mash, or brewery compost were incorporated into unfumigated and methyl bromide-fumigated organic soils placed in microplots formed from cylindrical drainage tiles (0.25 m-diam. clay tile). After 3 weeks, Meloidogyne hapla and cell or spore suspensions of Bacillus thuringiensis, Paecilomyces marquandii, and Streptomyces costaricanus were individually added to the soils of designated microplots. A B. thuringiensis + S. costaricanus combination was also tested. Lettuce seedlings, cv. Montello, were transplanted into the soils 3 to 4 days later. All the bacterial and fungal antagonists applied without a soil amendment, except the B. thuringiensis + S. costaricanus treatment, reduced root galling and increased lettuce head weight in the unfumigated organic soil, but not in the fumigated soil. All three amendments were also effective against M. hapla and reduced root galling in fumigated and unfumigated soils. Wheat mash amendment increased lettuce head weight in the unfumigated soil. In general, no antagonist × amendment interaction was detected. Soil populations of B. thuringiensis were maintained at ≥4.0 log10 colony-forming units/g organic soil during the first 14 days after planting. However, viable cells of B. thuringiensis were not detected after 49 days.
bacterial antagonists; biological control; brewery compost; chitin; field microplots; fungal antagonists; Lactuca sativa L.; Meloidogyne hapla; nematode; northern root-knot nematode; soil amendments; wheat mash
Bacterial community dynamics and biodegradation processes were examined in a highly creosote-contaminated soil undergoing a range of laboratory-based bioremediation treatments. The dynamics of the eubacterial community, the number of heterotrophs and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) degraders, and the total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) and PAH concentrations were monitored during the bioremediation process. TPH and PAHs were significantly degraded in all treatments (72 to 79% and 83 to 87%, respectively), and the biodegradation values were higher when nutrients were not added, especially for benzo(a)anthracene and chrysene. The moisture content and aeration were determined to be the key factors associated with PAH bioremediation. Neither biosurfactant addition, bioaugmentation, nor ferric octate addition led to differences in PAH or TPH biodegradation compared to biodegradation with nutrient treatment. All treatments resulted in a high first-order degradation rate during the first 45 days, which was markedly reduced after 90 days. A sharp increase in the size of the heterotrophic and PAH-degrading microbial populations was observed, which coincided with the highest rates of TPH and PAH biodegradation. At the end of the incubation period, PAH degraders were more prevalent in samples to which nutrients had not been added. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis and principal-component analysis confirmed that there was a remarkable shift in the composition of the bacterial community due to both the biodegradation process and the addition of nutrients. At early stages of biodegradation, the α-Proteobacteria group (genera Sphingomonas and Azospirillum) was the dominant group in all treatments. At later stages, the γ-Proteobacteria group (genus Xanthomonas), the α-Proteobacteria group (genus Sphingomonas), and the Cytophaga-Flexibacter-Bacteroides group (Bacteroidetes) were the dominant groups in the nonnutrient treatment, while the γ-Proteobacteria group (genus Xathomonas), the β-Proteobacteria group (genera Alcaligenes and Achromobacter), and the α-Proteobacteria group (genus Sphingomonas) were the dominant groups in the nutrient treatment. This study shows that specific bacterial phylotypes are associated both with different phases of PAH degradation and with nutrient addition in a preadapted PAH-contaminated soil. Our findings also suggest that there are complex interactions between bacterial species and medium conditions that influence the biodegradation capacity of the microbial communities involved in bioremediation processes.
Soil bacterial population dynamics were examined in several crude-oil-contaminated soils to identify those organisms associated with alkane degradation and to assess patterns in microbial response across disparate soils. Seven soil types obtained from six geographically distinct areas of the United States (Arizona, Oregon, Indiana, Virginia, Oklahoma, and Montana) were used in controlled contamination experiments containing 2% (wt/wt) crude oil spiked with [1-14C]hexadecane. Microbial populations present during hydrocarbon degradation were analyzed using both 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis and by traditional methods for cultivating hydrocarbon-oxidizing bacteria. After a 50-day incubation, all seven soils showed comparable hydrocarbon depletion, where >80% of added crude oil was depleted and approximately 40 to 70% of added [14C]hexadecane was converted to 14CO2. However, the initial rates of hydrocarbon depletion differed up to 10-fold, and preferential utilization of shorter-chain-length n-alkanes relative to longer-chain-length n-alkanes was observed in some soils. Distinct microbial populations developed, concomitant with crude-oil depletion. Phylogenetically diverse bacterial populations were selected across different soils, many of which were identical to hydrocarbon-degrading isolates obtained from the same systems (e.g., Nocardioides albus, Collimonas sp., and Rhodococcus coprophilus). In several cases, soil type was shown to be an important determinant, defining specific microorganisms responding to hydrocarbon contamination. However, similar Rhodococcus erythropolis-like populations were observed in four of the seven soils and were the most common hydrocarbon-degrading organisms identified via cultivation.
Marine subsurface environments such as deep-sea sediments, house abundant and diverse microbial communities that are believed to influence large-scale geochemical processes. These processes include the biotransformation and mineralization of numerous petroleum constituents. Thus, microbial communities in the Gulf of Mexico are thought to be responsible for the intrinsic bioremediation of crude oil released by the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill. While hydrocarbon contamination is known to enrich for aerobic, oil-degrading bacteria in deep-seawater habitats, relatively little is known about the response of communities in deep-sea sediments, where low oxygen levels may hinder such a response. Here, we examined the hypothesis that increased hydrocarbon exposure results in an altered sediment microbial community structure that reflects the prospects for oil biodegradation under the prevailing conditions. We explore this hypothesis using metagenomic analysis and metabolite profiling of deep-sea sediment samples following the DWH oil spill. The presence of aerobic microbial communities and associated functional genes was consistent among all samples, whereas, a greater number of Deltaproteobacteria and anaerobic functional genes were found in sediments closest to the DWH blowout site. Metabolite profiling also revealed a greater number of putative metabolites in sediments surrounding the blowout zone relative to a background site located 127 km away. The mass spectral analysis of the putative metabolites revealed that alkylsuccinates remained below detection levels, but a homologous series of benzylsuccinates (with carbon chain lengths from 5 to 10) could be detected. Our findings suggest that increased exposure to hydrocarbons enriches for Deltaproteobacteria, which are known to be capable of anaerobic hydrocarbon metabolism. We also provide evidence for an active microbial community metabolizing aromatic hydrocarbons in deep-sea sediments of the Gulf of Mexico.
Deepwater Horizon; metagenomics; metabolomics; oil-degradation
Biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons in cold environments, including Alpine soils, is a result of indigenous cold-adapted microorganisms able to degrade these contaminants. In the present study, the prevalence of seven genotypes involved in the degradation of n-alkanes (Pseudomonas putida GPo1 alkB; Acinetobacter spp. alkM; Rhodococcus spp. alkB1, and Rhodococcus spp. alkB2), aromatic hydrocarbons (P. putida xylE), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (P. putida ndoB and Mycobacterium sp. strain PYR-1 nidA) was determined in 12 oil-contaminated (428 to 30,644 mg of total petroleum hydrocarbons [TPH]/kg of soil) and 8 pristine Alpine soils from Tyrol (Austria) by PCR hybridization analyses of total soil community DNA, using oligonucleotide primers and DNA probes specific for each genotype. The soils investigated were also analyzed for various physical, chemical, and microbiological parameters, and statistical correlations between all parameters were determined. Genotypes containing genes from gram-negative bacteria (P. putida alkB, xylE, and ndoB and Acinetobacter alkM) were detected to a significantly higher percentage in the contaminated (50 to 75%) than in the pristine (0 to 12.5%) soils, indicating that these organisms had been enriched in soils following contamination. There was a highly significant positive correlation (P < 0.001) between the level of contamination and the number of genotypes containing genes from P. putida and Acinetobacter sp. but no significant correlation between the TPH content and the number of genotypes containing genes from gram-positive bacteria (Rhodococcus alkB1 and alkB2 and Mycobacterium nidA). These genotypes were detected at a high frequency in both contaminated (41.7 to 75%) and pristine (37.5 to 50%) soils, indicating that they are already present in substantial numbers before a contamination event. No correlation was found between the prevalence of hydrocarbon-degradative genotypes and biological activities (respiration, fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis, lipase activity) or numbers of culturable hydrocarbon-degrading soil microorganisms; there also was no correlation between the numbers of hydrocarbon degraders and the contamination level. The measured biological activities showed significant positive correlation with each other, with the organic matter content, and partially with the TPH content and a significant negative correlation with the soil dry-mass content (P < 0.05 to 0.001).
Pseudomonas stutzeri, isolated from crude oil-contaminated soil, was used to degrade diesel oil. Of three surfactants, 120 mg rhamnolipids 1−1 significantly increased degradation of diesel oil giving 88% loss after 14 days compared to 54% loss without the surfactant. The system with rhamnolipids was characterised by relatively high particle homogeneity. However, the addition of saponins to diesel oil caused the cells to aggregate (the polydispersity index: 0.542) and the biodegradation of diesel oil was only 46%. The cell yield was 0.22 g l−1.
Biodegradation; Cell surface hydrophobicity; Particle size distribution; Pseudomonas stutzeri; Sedimentation profile
Two greenhouse experiments were conducted to examine the effect of Crotalaria juncea amendment on Meloidogyne incognita population levels and growth of yellow squash (Cucurbita pepo). In the first experiment, four soils with a long history of receiving yard waste compost (YWC+), no-yard-waste compost (YWC-), conventional tillage, or no-tillage treatments were used; in the second experiment, only one recently cultivated soil was used. Half of the amount of each soil received air-dried residues of C. juncea as amendment before planting squash, whereas the other half did not. Crotalaria juncea amendment increased squash shoot and root weights in all soils tested, except in YWC+ soil where the organic matter content was high without the amendment. The amendment suppressed the numbers of M. incognita if the inoculum level was low, and when the soil contained relatively abundant nematode-antagonistic fungi. Microwaved soil resulted in greater numbers of M. incognita and free-living nematodes than frozen or untreated soil, indicating nematode-antagonistic microorganisms played a role in nematode suppression. The effects of C. juncea amendment on nutrient cycling were complex. Amendment with C. juncea increased the abundance of free-living nematodes and Harposporium anguillulae, a fungus antagonistic to them in the second experiment but not in the first experiment. Soil histories, especially long-term yard waste compost treatments that increased soil organic matter, can affect the performance of C. juncea amendment.
free-living nematode; nematode-trapping fungi; organic amendments; root-knot nematode; soil ecosystem; soil nutrient; sunn hemp; tillage