Environmental science and pollution research international

Diversity of organotrophic bacteria, activity of dehydrogenases and urease as well as seed germination and root growth Lepidium sativum, Sorghum saccharatum and Sinapis alba under the influence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

PMID 26341339


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are organic compounds with highly toxic, carcinogenic, and mutagenic properties, which adversely affect the basic biological parameters of the soil, including the count of microorganisms, and the enzymatic activity. In addition to disturbances to the biological activity of the soil, PAHs may also exhibit toxic effects on plants. In view of the above, the study involved testing aimed at the determination of the effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in a form of naphthalene, phenanthrene, anthracene and pyrene on the count, colony development (CD) index, ecophysiological (EP) diversity index of organotrophic bacteria, and the activity of soil dehydrogenases and soil urease. Moreover, an attempt was made to determine the soil's resistance based on the activity of the above-listed enzymes, and the effect of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on seed germination and root growth was assessed by Lepidium sativum, Sorghum saccharatum, and Sinapis alba. In addition, the species of bacteria found in a soil subjected to strong pressure of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were isolated. The experiment was performed in a laboratory on samples of loamy sand. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were introduced into the soil in an amount of 0, 1000, 2000, and 4000 mg kg(-1) of soil dry matter. Germination and growth of cress (L. sativum), white mustard (S. alba), and sweet sorghum (S. saccharatum) were determined using Phytotoxkit tests. It was found that the tested PAHs increased the average colony counts of organotrophic soil bacteria; pyrene did so to the greatest extent (2.2-fold relative to non-contaminated soil), phenanthrene to the smallest extent (1.4-fold relative to non-contaminated soil). None of the PAHs changed the value of the bacterial colony development (CD) index, while anthracene and pyrene increased the value of the eco-physiological (EP) diversity indicator. PAHs lowered the activity of the tested enzymes. The activity of dehydrogenases was dependent on a greater extent by the type of hydrocarbon (54.56%) rather than by the dose (10.64%), while for the activity of urease, it was the opposite. The greater extent was dependent on dose (95.42%) rather than by type (0.21%). Dehydrogenases are characterised by greater resistance to the action of PAHs than urease. Based on seed germination and root growth, it has shown that S. alba is best suited, being the most vulnerable plant, while S. saccharatum is the least suited. Subjecting a soil to strong pressure of PAHs leads to disturbances to the biological parameters of the soil, seed germination, and root growth L. sativum, S. saccharatum, and S. alba.