Isolation of PAH-degrading bacteria from mangrove sediments and their biodegradation potential

C L Guo, H W Zhou, Y S Wong, N F Y Tam
Marine Pollution Bulletin 2005, 51 (8-12): 1054-61
Surface sediment samples were collected from seven mangrove swamps in Hong Kong SAR with different degrees of contamination. The total concentrations of 16 PAHs in these sediments ranged from 169.41 to 1058.37 ng g(-1) with the highest concentration found in Ma Wan and the lowest in Kei Ling Ha Lo Wai mangrove swamp. In each swamp, three bacterial consortia were enriched from sediments using phenanthrene (Phe) as the sole carbon and energy source, and individual bacterial colony showing Phe degradation was isolated and identified by 16S rDNA gene sequence. The consortia enriched from Sai Keng and Ho Chung sediments had highest ability to degrade mixed PAHs in liquid medium, with 90% Phe and Fla (fluoranthene) degraded in 7 days. On the other hand, Kei Ling Ha Lo Wai-enriched consortia degraded less than 40% Phe and Fla. Pyrene (Pyr) was hardly degraded by the consortia enriched from sediments. Bacterial isolates, namely Rhodococcus (HCCS), Sphingomonas (MWFG) and Paracoccus (SPNT) were capable to degrade mixed PAHs (Phe + Fla + Pyr). Their degradation percentages could be lower, comparable or even higher than their respective enriched consortia, depending on the consortium and the type of PAH compounds. These results suggest that PAH-degrading bacteria enriched from mangrove sediments, either as a mixed culture or as a single isolate could be used for PAHs bioremediation.

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