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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1990 Apr;56(4):1012-6.

Microbial degradation of trichloroethylene in the rhizosphere: potential application to biological remediation of waste sites.

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  • 1Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee 37831-6038.


The possibility that vegetation may be used to actively promote microbial restoration of chemically contaminated soils was tested by using rhizosphere and nonvegetated soils collected from a trichloroethylene (TCE)-contaminated field site. Biomass determinations, disappearance of TCE from the headspace of spiked soil slurries, and mineralization of [14C]TCE to 14CO2 all showed that microbial activity is greater in rhizosphere soils and that TCE degradation occurs faster in the rhizosphere than in the edaphosphere. Thus, vegetation may be an important variable in the biological restoration of surface and near-surface soils.

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