, Volume 57-58, Issue 1, pp 971-982

Estimating biodegradative gene numbers at a JP-5 contaminated site using PCR

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Abstract

We have utilized a most-probable-number polymerase chain reaction (MPN-PCR) procedure to estimate gene numbers and biodegradative potential at a jet fuel (JP-5) contaminated site undergoing the first phase of bioremediation. Nucleic acid analysis was used to determine whether a lack of genetic potential for bioremediation was responsible for low levels of oxygen utilization at the site. Total community DNA was extracted and analyzed by PCR for genes (nahAc,alkB, andxylE) known to be involved in the degradation of certain JP-5 constituents. Results indicate that significant aromatic biodegradative potential exists at the site and outlying areas not subjected to engineered remediation, suggesting that physical and/or chemical factors are inhibiting oxygen delivery.xylE andnahAc were often present in significant portions of the microbial community, whereasalkB was rarely detected. This study illustrates the utility of molecular techniques in evaluating biodegradative potential in the field during active bioremediation.