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J Environ Qual. 2007 Jul 17;36(5):1260-5. Print 2007 Sep-Oct.

Pyrene mineralization by Mycobacterium sp. strain KMS in a barley rhizosphere.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322, USA.


To determine whether the soil Mycobacterium isolate KMS would mineralize pyrene under rhizosphere conditions, a microcosm system was established to collect radioactive carbon dioxide released from the labeled polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon. Microcosms were designed as sealed, flow-through systems that allowed the growth of plants. Experiments were conducted to evaluate mineralization of 14C-labeled pyrene in a sand amended with the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons degrading Mycobacterium isolate KMS, barley plants, or barley plants with roots colonized by isolate KMS. Mineralization was quantified by collecting the 14CO2 produced from 14C-labeled pyrene at intervals during the 10-d incubation period. Roots and foliar tissues were examined for 14C incorporation. Mass balances for microcosms were determined through combustion of sand samples and collection and quantification of 14CO2 evolved from radiolabeled pyrene. No pyrene mineralization was observed in the sterile control systems. Greater release of 14CO2 was observed in the system with barley colonized by KMS than in microcosms containing just the bacterium inoculum or sterile barley plants. These findings suggest that phytostimulation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons mineralization could be applied in remediation schemes.

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