Effect of rhizosphere on soil microbial community and in-situ pyrene biodegradation

Research Article


To access the influence of a vegetation on soil microorganisms toward organic pollutant biogegration, this study examined the rhizospheric effects of four plant species (sudan grass, white clover, alfalfa, and fescue) on the soil microbial community and in-situ pyrene (PYR) biodegradation. The results indicated that the spiked PYR levels in soils decreased substantially compared to the control soil without planting. With equal planted densities, the efficiencies of PYR degradation in rhizosphere with sudan grass, white clover, alfalfa and fescue were 34.0%, 28.4%, 27.7%, and 9.9%, respectively. However, on the basis of equal root biomass the efficiencies were in order of white clover >> alfalfa > sudan > fescue. The increased PYR biodegradation was attributed to the enhanced bacterial population and activity induced by plant roots in the rhizosphere. Soil microbial species and biomasses were elucidated in terms of microbial phospholipid ester-linked fatty acid (PLFA) biomarkers. The principal component analysis (PCA) revealed significant changes in PLFA pattern in planted and non-planted soils spiked with PYR. Total PLFAs in planted soils were all higher than those in non-planted soils. PLFA assemblages indicated that bacteria were the primary PYR degrading microorganisms, and that Gram-positive bacteria exhibited higher tolerance to PYR than Gram-negative bacteria did.


pyrene rhizosphere plant roots microbial community microbial degradation phospholipid ester-linked fatty acid (PLFA) 


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© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chemistry DepartmentXinjiang UniversityUrumqiChina
  2. 2.College of Resources and EnvironmentNorthwest A & F UniversityYanglingChina
  3. 3.U.S. Geological SurveyDenverUSA

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