Insight into the Modulation of Dissolved Organic Matter on Microbial Remediation of PAH-Contaminated Soils
KeywordsPolycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon
Dissolved organic matter
Marine & Freshwater Biology
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AbstractMicroorganisms play a key role in degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in environments. Dissolved organic matter (DOM) can enhance microbial degradation of PAHs in soils. However, it is not clear how will the soil microbial community respond to addition of DOM during bioremediation of PAH-contaminated soils. In this study, DOMs derived from various agricultural wastes were applied to remediate the aging PAH-contaminated soils in a 90-day microcosm experiment. Results showed that the addition of DOMs offered a more efficient and persistent elimination of soil PAHs compared to the control which had no DOM addition. PAH removal effects were different among treatments with various DOMs; the addition of DOMs with high proportion of hydrophobic fraction could remove PAHs more efficiently from the soil. Low-molecular-weight (LMW) PAHs were more easily eliminated than that with high-molecular-weight (HMW). Addition of DOMs significantly increased abundance of 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA), pdo1, nah, and C12O genes and obviously changed community compositions of nah and C12O genes in different ways in the PAH-contaminated soil. Phylogenetic analyses of clone libraries exhibited that all of nah sequences and most of C12O sequences were affiliated into Gammaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria. These results suggested that external stimuli produced by DOMs could enhance the microbial degradation of PAHs in soils through not only solubilizing PAHs but also altering abundance and composition of indigenous microbial degraders. Our results reinforce the understanding of role of DOMs in mediating degradation of PAHs by microorganims in soils.