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Aerobic biodegradation of biphenyl and polychlorinated biphenyls by arctic soil microorganisms

TitleAerobic biodegradation of biphenyl and polychlorinated biphenyls by arctic soil microorganisms
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsMohn, WW, Westerberg, K, Cullen, WR, Reimer, KJ
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Date PublishedSep
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0099-2240
Keywordsbioremediation, LOW-TEMPERATURES

We examined the degradation of biphenyl an the commercial polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) mixture Aroclor 1221 by indigenous Arctic soil microorganisms to assess both the response of the soil microflora to PCB pollution and the potential of the microflora for bioremediation. In soil slurries, Arctic soil microflora and temperature-soil microflora had similar potentials to mineralize [C-14]biphenyl. Mineralization began sooner and was more extensive in slurries of PCB-contaminated Arctic soils than in slurries of uncontaminated Arctic soils. The maximum mineralization rates at 30 and 7 degrees C were typically 1.2 to 1.4 and 0.52 to 1.0 mg of biphenyl g of dry soil(-1) day(-1), respectively. Slurries of PCB-contaminated Arctic soils degraded Aroclor 1221 more extensively at 30 degrees C (71 to 76% removal) than at 7 degrees C (14 to 40% removal). We isolated from Arctic soils organisms that were capable of psychrotolerant (growing at 7 to 30 degrees C) or psychrophilic (growing at 7 to 15 degrees C) growth on biphenyl. Two psychrotolerant isolates extensively degraded Aroclor 1221 at 7 degrees C (54 to 60% removal). The soil microflora and psychrotolerant isolates degraded all mono-, most di-, and some trichlorobiphenyl congeners. The results suggest that PCB pollution selected for biphenyl-mineralizing microorganisms in Arctic soils. While low temperatures severely limited Aroclor 1221 removal in slurries of Arctic soils, results with pure cultures suggest that more effective PCB biodegradation is possible under appropriate conditions.

URL<Go to ISI>://A1997XV51000007