, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 577-582

Degradation of high molecular weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by Pseudomonas cepacia

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When inoculated at high cell densities, three strains of Pseudomonas cepacia degraded the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) benzo[a]pyrene, dibenz[a,h]anthracene and coronene as sole carbon and energy sources. After 63 days incubation, there was a 20 to 30% decrease in the concentration of benzo[a]pyrene and dibenz[a,h]anthracene and a 65 to 70% decrease in coronene concentration. The three strains were also able to degrade all the PAHs simultaneously in a PAH substrate mixture containing three-, four-, five- and seven-benzene ring compounds. Furthermore, improved degradation of the five- and seven-ring PAHs was observed when low molecular weight PAHs were present.