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Chemosphere. 2009 Jun;75(10):1376-81. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2009.03.014. Epub 2009 Apr 5.

Bulk soil and rhizosphere bacterial community PCR-DGGE profiles and beta-galactosidase activity as indicators of biological quality in soils contaminated by heavy metals and cultivated with Silene vulgaris (Moench) Garcke.

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1
Instituto Madrileño de Investigación y Desarrollo Rural, Agrario y Alimentario, IMIDRA, Km, 38.2 A-II, 28800 Madrid, Spain. mjose.inigo@madrid.org

Abstract

The biological quality of two heavy metal contaminated soils (soil C: Typic Calcixerept, pH 8.3 and soil H: Typic Haploxeraf, pH 7.3) was investigated after growing the metal-tolerant plant Silene vulgaris (Moench) Garcke for two vegetative periods. The activity of the enzyme beta-galactosidase, which is sensitive to the presence of contaminants in soil, and the polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) profiles of 16S rRNA gene fragments of culturable bacteria from bulk soil and rhizosphere were determined. The microbial enzymatic activity was higher in planted soils than in bare soils at the contamination level of 600 mg of total heavy metals kg(-1) soil. After growing S. vulgaris, beta-galactosidase activity was almost recovered in the calcareous soil. In this soil new bands appeared in the PCR-DGGE profiles of the rhizosphere bacterial community as a response to the exposure to heavy metals.

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