Rhizoremediation of pentachlorophenol by Sphingobium chlorophenolicum ATCC 39723

R. I. Dams, G. I. Paton, K. Killham

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77 Citations (Scopus)


Sphingobium chlorophenolicum is well known as a pentachlorophenol (PCP) degrader. The objective of this study was to evaluate PCP degradation in a loamy sandy soil artificially contaminated with PCP using phytoremediation and bio augmentation. Measurements of PCP concentrations were carried out using high performance liquid chromatography analyses (HPLC). The toxic effect of PCP on plants was studied through the monitoring of weight plant and root length. The biodegradation of PCP by S. chlorophenolicum in soil was assessed with a bioluminescence assay of Escherichia coli HB101 pUCD607. Bacterial analyses were carried out by plating on Mineral Salt Medium (MSM) for S. chlorophenolicum, MSM for PCP-degrading/tolerant organisms and Trypticase Soy Broth Agar (TSBA) for heterotrophic organisms. The introduction of S. chlorophenolicum into soil with plants showed a faster degradation when compared to the non-inoculated soil. The monitoring of the plant growth showed a protective role of S. chlorophenolicum against the toxicity of PCP. The bioassay confirmed that initial toxicity was lowered while degradation progressed. There was a significant increase of organisms tested in the roots in comparison to those in the soil. This study showed that the presence of S. chlorophenolicum enhanced the PCP degradation in a loamy soil and also it had a protective role to prevent phytotoxic effects of PCP on plant growth. The combined use of bioaugmentation and plants suggests that the rhizosphere of certain plant species may be important for facilitating microbial degradation of pesticides in soil with important implications for using vegetation to stabilize and remediate surface soils. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)864-870
Number of pages7
Issue number5
Early online date21 Mar 2007
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


  • pentachlorophenol degradation
  • bioaugmentation
  • sphingobium chlorophenolicum
  • soil systems
  • burkholderia SP RASC
  • strain ATCC 39723
  • sphingomonas-chlorophenolica
  • contaminated soil
  • flavobacterium-SP
  • pseudomonas-fluorescens
  • rhizosphere
  • degradation
  • phytoremediation
  • biodegradation


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