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Chemosphere. 2009 Jan;74(2):280-6. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2008.09.013. Epub 2008 Oct 21.

Enhanced phytoextraction of an agricultural Cr- and Pb-contaminated soil by bioaugmentation with siderophore-producing bacteria.

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Equipe Dépollution Biologique des Sols, University of Haute-Alsace, 29, rue de Herrlisheim, BP 50568, 68 008 Colmar Cedex, France.


Bioaugmentation-assisted phytoextraction may enhance the phytoextraction efficiency thanks to larger metal mobilization by microbial metabolites. Green fluorescent protein-tagged cells of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomonas fluorescens or Ralstonia metallidurans, able to produce siderophores, were inoculated in an agricultural soil containing Cr (488 mg kg(-1)) and Pb (382 mg kg(-1)) and maize was cultivated. Bacteria were inoculated as free or immobilized cells in Ca-alginate beads, with skim milk in the aim at improving both the bacterial survival and the in situ siderophore production. Skim milk addition increased inoculated Pseudomonads concentration in soil. Soil inoculation with free cells of R. metallidurans supplied with skim milk increased Cr accumulation in maize shoots by a factor of 5.2 and inoculation with immobilized P. aeruginosa cells supplied with skim milk increased Cr and Pb uptake by maize shoots by a factor of 5.4 and 3.8, respectively. However total metal taken up by the whole plant decreases almost always with bioaugmentation. Translocation factor also increased with P. aeruginosa or R. metallidurans by a factor of 6 up to 7. Inoculated bacteria concentration in soil was correlated with metals in the exchangeable fraction. Cr and Pb concentrations in the exchangeable fraction were correlated with metal contents in shoots or roots. Our results suggest that bioaugmentation-assisted phytoextraction is a relevant method in the aim at increasing the phytoextraction rate which usually limits the use of phytoremediation technologies.

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