Degradation of chloronitrobenzenes by a coculture of Pseudomonas putida and a Rhodococcus sp.
A single microorganism able to mineralize chloronitrobenzenes (CNBs) has not been reported, and degradation of CNBs by coculture of two microbial strains was attempted. Pseudomonas putida HS12 was first isolated by analogue enrichment culture using nitrobenzene (NB) as the substrate, and this strain was observed to possess a partial reductive pathway for the degradation of NB. From high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and 1H nuclear magnetic resonance analyses, NB-grown cells of P. putida HS12 were found to convert 3- and 4-CNBs to the corresponding 5- and 4-chloro-2-hydroxyacetanilides, respectively, by partial reduction and subsequent acetylation. For the degradation of CNBs, Rhodococcus sp. strain HS51, which degrades 4- and 5-chloro-2-hydroxyacetanilides, was isolated and combined with P. putida HS12 to give a coculture. This coculture was confirmed to mineralize 3- and 4-CNBs in the presence of an additional carbon source. A degradation pathway for 3- and 4-CNBs by the two isolated strains was also proposed. (+info)
Formation of bound residues during microbial degradation of [14C]anthracene in soil.
Carbon partitioning and residue formation during microbial degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in soil and soil-compost mixtures were examined by using [14C]anthracenes labeled at different positions. In native soil 43.8% of [9-14C]anthracene was mineralized by the autochthonous microflora and 45.4% was transformed into bound residues within 176 days. Addition of compost increased the metabolism (67.2% of the anthracene was mineralized) and decreased the residue formation (20. 7% of the anthracene was transformed). Thus, the higher organic carbon content after compost was added did not increase the level of residue formation. [14C]anthracene labeled at position 1,2,3,4,4a,5a was metabolized more rapidly and resulted in formation of higher levels of residues (28.5%) by the soil-compost mixture than [14C]anthracene radiolabeled at position C-9 (20.7%). Two phases of residue formation were observed in the experiments. In the first phase the original compound was sequestered in the soil, as indicated by its limited extractability. In the second phase metabolites were incorporated into humic substances after microbial degradation of the PAH (biogenic residue formation). PAH metabolites undergo oxidative coupling to phenolic compounds to form nonhydrolyzable humic substance-like macromolecules. We found indications that monomeric educts are coupled by C-C- or either bonds. Hydrolyzable ester bonds or sorption of the parent compounds plays a minor role in residue formation. Moreover, experiments performed with 14CO2 revealed that residues may arise from CO2 in the soil in amounts typical for anthracene biodegradation. The extent of residue formation depends on the metabolic capacity of the soil microflora and the characteristics of the soil. The position of the 14C label is another important factor which controls mineralization and residue formation from metabolized compounds. (+info)
Removal of dibenzofuran, dibenzo-p-dioxin, and 2-chlorodibenzo-p-dioxin from soils inoculated with Sphingomonas sp. strain RW1.
Removal of dibenzofuran, dibenzo-p-dioxin, and 2-chlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (2-CDD) (10 ppm each) from soil microcosms to final concentrations in the parts-per-billion range was affected by the addition of Sphingomonas sp. strain RW1. Rates and extents of removal were influenced by the density of RW1 organisms. For 2-CDD, the rate of removal was dependent on the content of soil organic matter (SOM), with half-life values ranging from 5.8 h (0% SOM) to 26.3 h (5.5% SOM). (+info)
Use of plant roots for phytoremediation and molecular farming.
Alternative agriculture, which expands the uses of plants well beyond food and fiber, is beginning to change plant biology. Two plant-based biotechnologies were recently developed that take advantage of the ability of plant roots to absorb or secrete various substances. They are (i) phytoextraction, the use of plants to remove pollutants from the environment and (ii) rhizosecretion, a subset of molecular farming, designed to produce and secrete valuable natural products and recombinant proteins from roots. Here we discuss recent advances in these technologies and assess their potential in soil remediation, drug discovery, and molecular farming. (+info)
Use of a field portable X-Ray fluorescence analyzer to determine the concentration of lead and other metals in soil samples.
Field portable methods are often needed in risk characterization, assessment and management to rapidly determine metal concentrations in environmental samples. Examples are for determining: "hot spots" of soil contamination, whether dust wipe lead levels meet housing occupancy standards, and worker respiratory protection levels. For over 30 years portable X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyzers have been available for the in situ, non-destructive, measurement of lead in paint. Recent advances made possible their use for analysis of airborne dust filter samples, soil, and dust wipes. Research at the University of Cincinnati with the NITON 700 Series XRF instrument (40 millicurie Cadmium 109 source, L X-Rays) demonstrated its proficiency on air sample filters (NIOSH Method No. 7702, "Lead by Field Portable XRF; limit of detection 6 microg per sample; working range 17-1,500 microg/m3 air). Research with lead dust wipe samples from housing has also shown promising results. This XRF instrument was used in 1997 in Poland on copper smelter area soil samples with the cooperation of the Wroclaw Medical Academy and the Foundation for the Children from the Copper Basin (Legnica). Geometric mean soil lead concentrations were 200 ppm with the portable XRF, 201 ppm with laboratory-based XRF (Kevex) and 190 ppm using atomic absorption (AA). Correlations of field portable XRF and AA results were excellent for samples sieved to less than 125 micrometers with R-squared values of 0.997, 0.957, and 0.976 for lead, copper and zinc respectively. Similarly, correlations were excellent for soil sieved to less than 250 micrometers, where R-squared values were 0. 924, 0.973, and 0.937 for lead, copper and zinc, respectively. The field portable XRF instrument appears to be useful for the determination of soil pollution by these metals in industrial regions. (+info)
Talking trash: the economic and environmental issues of landfills.
The U.S. per-capita figure for garbage production has topped four pounds per person per day, and that amount is rising at roughly 5% per year. In the past, municipal solid waste was sent to the nearest local landfill or incinerator. But in 1988, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency instituted the first federal standards for landfills, designed to make them safer. Over 10,000 small municipal landfills have since been consolidated into an estimated 3,500 newer, safer landfills, some of which are "megafills" that can handle up to 10,000 tons of waste a day. The new landfills are outfitted to prevent air and water pollution and limit the spread of disease by scavengers. Although the new landfills provide better controls against air and water pollution as well as an alternate source of municipal income, they are not entirely problem-free. Some experts believe the new landfill technology has not been properly tested and will therefore not provide protection in the long run. Others feel that poorer, less well-informed communities are targeted as sites for new landfills. In addition, many people that live near megafills, which may draw garbarge from several states, are unhappy about the noise, truck traffic, odors, and pests caused by the facilities. (+info)
Abundance and diversity of Archaea in heavy-metal-contaminated soils.
The impact of heavy-metal contamination on archaean communities was studied in soils amended with sewage sludge contaminated with heavy metals to varying extents. Fluorescent in situ hybridization showed a decrease in the percentage of Archaea from 1.3% +/- 0.3% of 4', 6-diamidino-2-phenylindole-stained cells in untreated soil to below the detection limit in soils amended with heavy metals. A comparison of the archaean communities of the different plots by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis revealed differences in the structure of the archaean communities in soils with increasing heavy-metal contamination. Analysis of cloned 16S ribosomal DNA showed close similarities to a unique and globally distributed lineage of the kingdom Crenarchaeota that is phylogenetically distinct from currently characterized crenarchaeotal species. (+info)
Microbial population changes during bioremediation of an experimental oil spill.
Three crude oil bioremediation techniques were applied in a randomized block field experiment simulating a coastal oil spill. Four treatments (no oil control, oil alone, oil plus nutrients, and oil plus nutrients plus an indigenous inoculum) were applied. In situ microbial community structures were monitored by phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis and 16S rDNA PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) to (i) identify the bacterial community members responsible for the decontamination of the site and (ii) define an end point for the removal of the hydrocarbon substrate. The results of PLFA analysis demonstrated a community shift in all plots from primarily eukaryotic biomass to gram-negative bacterial biomass with time. PLFA profiles from the oiled plots suggested increased gram-negative biomass and adaptation to metabolic stress compared to unoiled controls. DGGE analysis of untreated control plots revealed a simple, dynamic dominant population structure throughout the experiment. This banding pattern disappeared in all oiled plots, indicating that the structure and diversity of the dominant bacterial community changed substantially. No consistent differences were detected between nutrient-amended and indigenous inoculum-treated plots, but both differed from the oil-only plots. Prominent bands were excised for sequence analysis and indicated that oil treatment encouraged the growth of gram-negative microorganisms within the alpha-proteobacteria and Flexibacter-Cytophaga-Bacteroides phylum. alpha-Proteobacteria were never detected in unoiled controls. PLFA analysis indicated that by week 14 the microbial community structures of the oiled plots were becoming similar to those of the unoiled controls from the same time point, but DGGE analysis suggested that major differences in the bacterial communities remained. (+info)