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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2018 Jul 2;84(14). pii: e00273-18. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00273-18. Print 2018 Jul 15.

Enhanced and Complete Removal of Phenylurea Herbicides by Combinational Transgenic Plant-Microbe Remediation.

Yan X#1,2, Huang J#1, Xu X1, Chen D1, Xie X3, Tao Q3, He J1, Jiang J4,2.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology, Key Lab of Microbiology for Agricultural Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, College of Life Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, China.
2
Jiangsu Key Lab for Solid Organic Waste Utilization, Nanjing, China.
3
DBN Biotech Center, Beijing DBN Technology Group Co., Ltd., Beijing, China.
4
Department of Microbiology, Key Lab of Microbiology for Agricultural Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, College of Life Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, China jiang_jjd@njau.edu.cn.
#
Contributed equally

Abstract

The synergistic relationships between plants and their rhizospheric microbes can be used to develop a combinational bioremediation method, overcoming the constraints of individual phytoremediation or a bioaugmentation method. Here, we provide a combinational transgenic plant-microbe remediation system for a more efficient removal of phenylurea herbicides (PHs) from contaminated sites. The transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plant synthesizing the bacterial N-demethylase PdmAB in the chloroplast was developed. The constructed transgenic Arabidopsis plant exhibited significant tolerance to isoproturon (IPU), a typical PH, and it took up the IPU through the roots and transported it to leaves, where the majority of the IPU was demethylated to 3-(4-isopropylphenyl)-1-methylurea (MDIPU). The produced intermediate was released outside the roots and further metabolized by the combinationally inoculated MDIPU-mineralizing bacterium Sphingobium sp. strain 1017-1 in the rhizosphere, resulting in an enhanced and complete removal of IPU from soil. Mutual benefits were built for both the transgenic Arabidopsis plant and strain 1017-1. The transgenic Arabidopsis plant offered strain 1017-1 a suitable accommodation, and in return, strain 1017-1 protected the plant from the phytotoxicity of MDIPU. The biomass of the transgenic Arabidopsis plant and the residence of the inoculated degrading microbes in the combinational treatment increased significantly compared to those in their respective individual transgenic plant treatment or bioaugmentation treatment. The influence of the structure of bacterial community by combinational treatment was between that of the two individual treatments. Overall, the combination of two approaches, phytoremediation by transgenic plants and bioaugmentation with intermediate-mineralizing microbes in the rhizosphere, represents an innovative strategy for the enhanced and complete remediation of pollutant-contaminated sites.IMPORTANCE Phytoremediation of organic pollutant-contaminated sites using transgenic plants expressing bacterial enzyme has been well described. The major constraint of transgenic plants transferred with a single catabolic gene is that they can also accumulate/release intermediates, still causing phytotoxicity or additional environmental problems. On the other hand, bioaugmentation with degrading strains also has its drawbacks, including the instability of the inoculated strains and low bioavailability of pollutants. In this study, the synergistic relationship between a transgenic Arabidopsis plant expressing the bacterial N-demethylase PdmAB in the chloroplast and the inoculated intermediate-mineralizing bacterium Sphingobium sp. strain 1017-1 in the rhizosphere is used to develop an intriguing bioremediation method. The combinational transgenic plant-microbe remediation system shows a more efficient and complete removal of phenylurea herbicides from contaminated sites and can overcome the constraints of individual phytoremediation or bioaugmentation methods.

KEYWORDS:

phenylurea herbicides; plant-microbe remediation; rhizospheric microbes; transgenic plant

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