Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 4725–4735 | Cite as

Abundance and diversity of functional genes involved in the degradation of aromatic hydrocarbons in Antarctic soils and sediments around Syowa Station

  • C. Muangchinda
  • S. Chavanich
  • V. Viyakarn
  • K. Watanabe
  • S. Imura
  • A. S. Vangnai
  • O. PinyakongEmail author
Research Article


Hydrocarbon catabolic genes were investigated in soils and sediments in nine different locations around Syowa Station, Antarctica, using conventional PCR, real-time PCR, cloning, and sequencing analysis. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon ring-hydroxylating dioxygenase (PAH-RHD)-coding genes from both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria were observed. Clone libraries of Gram-positive RHD genes were related to (i) nidA3 of Mycobacterium sp. py146, (ii) pdoA of Terrabacter sp. HH4, (iii) nidA of Diaphorobacter sp. KOTLB, and (iv) pdoA2 of Mycobacterium sp. CH-2, with 95–99 % similarity. Clone libraries of Gram-negative RHD genes were related to the following: (i) naphthalene dioxygenase of Burkholderia glathei, (ii) phnAc of Burkholderia sartisoli, and (iii) RHD alpha subunit of uncultured bacterium, with 41–46 % similarity. Interestingly, the diversity of the Gram-positive RHD genes found around this area was higher than those of the Gram-negative RHD genes. Real-time PCR showed different abundance of dioxygenase genes between locations. Moreover, the PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) profile demonstrated diverse bacterial populations, according to their location. Forty dominant fragments in the DGGE profiles were excised and sequenced. All of the sequences belonged to ten bacterial phyla: Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Chloroflexi, Gemmatimonadetes, Cyanobacteria, Chlorobium, and Acidobacteria. In addition, the bacterial genus Sphingomonas, which has been suggested to be one of the major PAH degraders in the environment, was observed in some locations. The results demonstrated that indigenous bacteria have the potential ability to degrade PAHs and provided information to support the conclusion that bioremediation processes can occur in the Antarctic soils and sediments studied here.


Antarctica Syowa PAHs PCR-DGGE Real-time PCR Dioxygenase Diversity 



This work was supported by the National Institute of Polar Research (Japan); L’Oreal (Thailand) Ltd.; Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University; and National Research University Project of the Office of Commission for Higher Education and Ratchadaphiseksomphot Endowment Fund, Chulalongkorn University—Climate Change Cluster (CC1043A). We also would like to thank all the members of the 51st Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE-51) for their field support and assistance.

Supplementary material

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Fig. S1 (DOCX 198 kb)
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Fig. S2 (DOCX 162 kb)
11356_2014_3721_MOESM3_ESM.docx (44 kb)
Table S1 (DOCX 43 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Muangchinda
    • 1
  • S. Chavanich
    • 2
  • V. Viyakarn
    • 2
  • K. Watanabe
    • 3
  • S. Imura
    • 3
  • A. S. Vangnai
    • 4
    • 5
  • O. Pinyakong
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Bioremediation Research Unit, Department of Microbiology, Faculty of ScienceChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand
  2. 2.Reef Biology Research Group, Department of Marine Science, Faculty of ScienceChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand
  3. 3.National Institute of Polar ResearchTokyoJapan
  4. 4.Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of ScienceChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand
  5. 5.Center of Excellence on Hazardous Substance Management (HSM)BangkokThailand

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