, Volume 75, Issue 3, pp 655-663
Date: 26 Jan 2007

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-degrading Mycobacterium isolates: their association with plant roots

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Five environmental mycobacterium isolates that degrade polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were associated with barley root surfaces after growth of the seedlings from inoculated seed. Mycobacterium cells were detected along the total root length for four of these isolates. These PAH-degrading mycobacterium strains had hydrophilic cell surfaces, whereas one strain, MCS, that was hydrophobic had reduced association along the root length with no cells being detected from the root tips. The root-tip-competent strain, KMS, was competitive for its root association in the presence of the root-colonizing pseudomonad, Pseudomonas putida KT2440. All mycobacterium strains utilized simple sugars (fructose, glucose) and the trisaccharide 6-kestose, present in barley root washes, for planktonic growth, but they differed in their potential for biofilm formation under in vitro conditions. Mineralization of pyrene by the KMS strain occurred when the components in the barley root wash were amended with labeled pyrene suggesting to us that mineralization could occur in plant rhizospheres containing such mycobacterium strains.