, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 883-895
Date: 20 Apr 2008

Evaluating the biodegradation of aromatic hydrocarbons by monitoring of several functional genes

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Various microbial activities determine the effectiveness of bioremediation processes. In this work, we evaluated the feasibility of gene array hybridization for monitoring the efficiency of biodegradation processes. Biodegradation of 14C-labelled naphthalene and toluene by the aromatic hydrocarbon-degrading Pseudomonas putida F1, P. putida mt-2 and P. putida G7 was followed in mixed liquid culture microcosm by a preliminary, nylon membrane-based gene array. In the beginning of the study, toluene was degraded rapidly and increased amount of toluene degradation genes was detected by the preliminary gene array developed for the study. After toluene was degraded, naphthalene mineralization started and the amount of naphthalene degradation genes increased as biodegradation proceeded. The amount of toluene degradation genes decreased towards the end of the study. The hybridization signal intensities determined by preliminary gene array were in good agreement with mineralization of naphthalene and toluene and with the amount of naphthalene dioxygenase and toluene dioxygenase genes quantified by dot blot hybridization. The clear correlation between the results obtained by the preliminary array and the biodegradation process suggests that gene array methods can be considered as a promising tool for monitoring the efficiency of biodegradation processes.