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Application of FT-IR spectroscopy for control of the medium composition during the biodegradation of nitro aromatic compounds


Previous studies showed that cabbage leaf extract (CLE) added to the growth medium can noticeably promote the degradation of nitro aromatic compounds by specific consortium of bacteria upon their growth. For further development of the approach for contaminated soil remediation it was necessary to evaluate the qualitative and/or quantitative composition of different origin CLE and their relevance on the growth of explosives-degrading bacteria. Six CLE (different by species, cultivars and harvesting time) were tested and used as additives to the growth medium. It was shown that nitro aromatic compounds can be identified in the FT-IR absorption spectra by the characteristic band at 1,527 cm−1, and in CLE by the characteristic band at 1,602 cm−1. The intensity of the CLE band at 1,602 cm−1 correlated with the concentration of total nitrogen (R 2 = 0.87) and decreased upon the growth of bacteria. The content of nitrogen in CLE differed (0.22–1.00 vol.%) and significantly influenced the content of total carbohydrates (9.50–16.00% DW) and lipids [3.90–9.90% dry weight (DW)] accumulated in bacterial cells while the content of proteins was similar in all samples. Though this study showed quantitative differences in the composition of the studied CLE and the response of bacterial cells to the composition of the growth media, and proved the potential of this additive for remediation of contaminated soil. It was shown that analysis of CLE and monitoring of the conversion of nitro aromatic compounds can be investigated by FT-IR spectroscopy as well as by conventional chemical methods.

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The support by Ministry of Defence of Latvia, Rita Scherbaka, and Latvian SC project 04.1100 and 05.1484 are gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Olga Muter.

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Grube, M., Muter, O., Strikauska, S. et al. Application of FT-IR spectroscopy for control of the medium composition during the biodegradation of nitro aromatic compounds. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 35, 1545–1549 (2008).

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  • FT-IR spectroscopy
  • Cabbage
  • Soil bacteria
  • Nitro aromatics