, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 576-585
Date: 02 Feb 2012

Effects of bacterial-feeding nematodes and prometryne-degrading bacteria on the dissipation of prometryne in contaminated soil

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Prometryne with moderate to low mobility in soil is a ubiquitous environmental pollutant in water and soil. Bioremediation is widely used to remove pollutants from contaminated soil. Bacterial-feeding nematodes have been tested on the decomposition of soil organic matter and the release of nutrients through their interaction with soil microorganisms, but little attention has been paid to their effects on the removal of herbicides in soil. In this study, we investigated the effects of bacterial-feeding nematodes (Cephalobus Bastian) on the dissipation of prometryne and microbial activity in prometryne contaminated soil.

Materials and methods

Cultured with prometryne for a period of 6 months, prometryne-degrading bacteria strains P-1 and P-2 were isolated from sediments obtained from Anhui Huaxing Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. (Anhui Province, China). Bacterial-feeding nematodes were reared on Nematode Growth Medium agar plates (NGM) supplemented with prometryne for 5 months. Gnotobiotic microcosm experiments were conducted by inoculating both nematodes and prometryne-degrading bacteria strains P-1 (Ochrobactrum sp.) and P-2 (Bacillus sp.) into the contaminated soil. Soil samples were analyzed for prometryne concentration, the number of bacteria and nematodes, basal soil respiration, and enzyme activities.

Results and discussion

The results show that (1) about 50–66% of the prometryne is dissipated in the treatments with nematodes and the dissipation rate is raised by 5–7% compared with the treatments without nematodes. The nematodes have positive effects on the dissipation of prometryne through their interaction with bacteria in soil; (2) the nematode grazing can increase the population size of bacteria; and (3) the introduction of nematodes can enhance basal soil respiration and soil enzyme activities, that is, soil microbial activity.


The inoculation of nematodes enhanced microbial activity in contaminated soils and accelerated the dissipation of prometryne, and thus nematodes can be used in restoration of contaminated sites by accelerating pollutants dissipation in the future.