Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 54, Issue 5, pp 607–616 | Cite as

Niche partition of phenanthrene-degrading bacteria along a Phragmites australis rhizosphere gradient

  • Xiaofei Lv
  • Zhao Kankan
  • Hongjie Li
  • Bin Ma
Original Paper


The rhizosphere is a critical interface for pollutant remediation in soils. Association between biodegradation of organic pollutants and spatial pattern of degraders along the rhizosphere gradient is, however, still unclear. This study investigated the phenanthrene-degrading bacterial consortia in a Phragmites australis rhizosphere using DNA-stable isotope probing (DNA-SIP). The relative abundance of Sphingomonadales in the 13C-labeled consortia decreased with the distance from roots, suggesting that its contribution in phenanthrene degradation was decreased with the distance from roots. Conversely, the relative abundance of Rhizobiales, Rhodobacterales, Lactobacillales, and Enterobacteriales in 13C-labeled consortia increased with the distance from roots, suggesting that their contributions in phenanthrene degradation were increased with the distance from roots. The linkage numbers of bacterial species in the co-occurrence network increased with the percentages of 13C-labeled reads, suggesting the critical role of syntrophic interactions for phenanthrene degraders. These results suggest the niche partition of phenanthrene degraders, which leaded to the non-linear variation of phenanthrene degradation rates along the rhizosphere gradient. These findings will help us to better understand rhizo degradation of organic pollutants and optimize bioremediation technology by achieving a trade-off among different degraders.


Bioremediation Correlation network Phenanthrene Rhizosphere gradient Stable isotope probing 


Funding information

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41301333), the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2017 M621945), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2018QNA6009).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental EngineeringChina Jiliang UniversityHangzhouChina
  2. 2.Institute of Soil and Water Resources and Environmental Science, Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Agricultural Resources and EnvironmentZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  3. 3.Department of BacteriologyUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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