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Degradation of High Molecular Weight PAHs in Contaminated Soil by a Bacterial Consortium: Effects on Microtox and Mutagenicity Bioassays


Juhasz, AL and Stanley, GA and Britz, ML, Degradation of High Molecular Weight PAHs in Contaminated Soil by a Bacterial Consortium: Effects on Microtox and Mutagenicity Bioassays, Bioremediation Journal, 4, (4) pp. 271-283. ISSN 1088-9868 (2000) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1080/10889860091114248


Bioaugmentation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-contaminated soil was investigated using a mixed bacterial culture (community five) isolated from an abandoned industrial site. Community five was inoculated into contaminated soil containing a total PAH (two- to five-ring compounds) concentration of approximately 820 mg/kg soil. PAH degradation by the indigenous microbial population was restricted to the lower molecular weight compounds (naphthalene, acenaphthene, fluorene and phenanthrene) even with yeast extract addition: these compounds decreased by 14 to 37%, in soil hydrated to 50% water capacity, following 91 days of incubation at 24°C. Inoculation of community five into this PAH-contaminated soil resulted in significant decreases in the concentration of all PAHs over the incubation period: greater than 86% of naphthalene, acenaphthene, fluorene, and phenanthrene were degraded after 91 days, while anthracene, fluoranthene, and pyrene were degraded to lesser extents (51.7 to 57.6%). A lag period of 48 to 63 days was observed before the onset of benz[a]anthracene, benzo[a]pyrene, and dibenz[a,h]anthracene removal. However, significant decreases in the concentration of these compounds (32.6, 25.2, and 18.5%, respectively) were observed after 91 days. No significant decrease in the mutagenic potential of organic soil extracts (as measured by the Ames Test) was observed after incubation of the soil with the indigenous microflora; however, the Microtox toxicity of aqueous soil extracts was reduced sevenfold. In contrast, extracts from contaminated soil inoculated with community five underwent a 43% decrease in mutagenic potential and the toxicity was reduced 170-fold after 91 days incubation. These observations suggest that community five could be utilised for the detoxification of PAH-contaminated soil. © 2000 by Battelle Memorial Institute.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental biotechnology
Research Field:Bioremediation
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Rehabilitation or conservation of terrestrial environments
UTAS Author:Britz, ML (Professor Margaret Britz)
ID Code:73304
Year Published:2000
Deposited By:Research Division
Deposited On:2011-09-26
Last Modified:2011-09-26

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