Microbial populations related to PAH biodegradation in an aged biostimulated creosote-contaminated soil.

PMID 19153811


A previous bioremediation survey on a creosote-contaminated soil showed that aeration and optimal humidity promoted depletion of three-ringed polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), but residual concentrations of four-ringed benzo(a)anthracene (B(a)A) and chrysene (Chry) remained. In order to explain the lack of further degradation of heavier PAHs such as four-ringed PAHs and to analyze the microbial population responsible for PAH biodegradation, a chemical and microbial molecular approach was used. Using a slurry incubation strategy, soil in liquid mineral medium with and without additional B(a)A and Chry was found to contain a powerful PAH-degrading microbial community that eliminated 89% and 53% of the added B(a)A and Chry, respectively. It is hypothesized that the lack of PAH bioavailability hampered their further biodegradation in the unspiked soil. According to the results of the culture-dependent and independent techniques Mycobacterium parmense, Pseudomonas mexicana, and Sphingobacterials group could control B(a)A and Chry degradation in combination with several microorganisms with secondary metabolic activity.