, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 47-55

Bacteria Degrading PCBs and CBs Isolated from Long-Term PCB Contaminated Soil

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Abstract

Bacteria able to degrade polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and chlorobenzoic acids (CBs) were isolated from soil that had been contaminated with PCBs for 15–30 years. Contaminated soil in which PCB content ranged between 10–470 mg/kg was naturally vegetated with different plants including ash (Fraxinus excelsior), birch (Betula pendula), black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), Austrian pine (Pinus nigra) and goat willow (Salix caprea) trees as well as a variety of grasses and forbs. Bacteria able to use biphenyl as a sole source of carbon and energy were found in the root zone of all plants, but occurred in the largest numbers beneath pine and black locust. Bacteria able to degrade chlorobenzoic acids were isolated from the same location contaminated with PCBs. Strains that were taxonomically identified by 16S rDNA as Pandoraea were able to use 2-CB, 3-CB, 2,3-CB, 2,5-CB as sole carbon sources, and the strain Arthrobacter utilised 4-CB.