Degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by a bacterial consortium enriched from mangrove sediments

S H Yu, L Ke, Y S Wong, N F Y Tam
Environment International 2005, 31 (2): 149-54
The biodegradability of a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) mixture consisted of fluorene (Fl), phenanthrene (Phe) and pyrene (Pyr) by a bacterial consortium enriched from mangrove sediments under sediment-free and sediment slurry conditions was investigated. The enriched consortium made up of three bacterial strains, namely Rhodococcus sp., Acinetobacter sp. and Pseudomonas sp., had a good PAH degradation capability with 100% degradation of Fl and Phe in sediment-free liquid medium after 4 weeks of growth. The Fl and Phe degradation percentages in sediment slurry were higher than that in liquid medium. Autochthonous microorganisms in sediments also possessed satisfactory PAH degradation capability and all three PAHs were almost completely degraded after 4 weeks of growth. Bioaugumentation (inoculation of the enriched consortium to sediments) showed a positive effect on PAH biodegradation after 1 week of growth. Complete biodegradation of pyrene took longer time than that for Fl and Phe, indicating the enriched bacterial consortium had preference to utilize low-molecular weight PAHs.

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