Bioremediation of Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons: Current Status and Recent Advances

  • Simran Bhatia
  • Moyna Kalia
  • Baljinder SinghEmail author


Environmental pollutants like polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) due to their persistence, carcinogenicity, and toxicity have created havoc. Benzopyrene, naphthalene, anthracene, and phenanthrene are main aromatic hydrocarbons which are ubiquitous and recalcitrant causing majority of the problems associated with PAHs. Bioremediation using various microorganisms or active consortia can effectively degrade these hydrocarbons. This chapter enlists the properties and the hazards associated with these PAHs. The overall procedure of bioremediation including the factors affecting is also discussed charting the main bacterial and fungal species involved in biodegradation of these hydrocarbons. Through the works of many researchers, many new species or an actively respiring consortium of species, namely, Mycobacterium, Sphingobacterium, Sphingomonas, Pseudomonas, Alteromonas, Streptomyces, and fungi like Irpex lacteus and Aspergillus fumigatus, have emerged as potential PAH degraders. The biochemical basis as well as the impact, various techniques used, and efficiency of these species for each of the above four hydrocarbons in contaminated soil samples, tidal sample, petrochemical refinery, and mangrove soils has been individually discussed.


  1. Bamforth SM, Singleton I (2005) Bioremediation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: current knowledge and future directions. J Chem Technol Biotechnol 80:723–736CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bardi L, Mattei A, Steffan S (2000) Hydrocarbon degradation by a soil microbial population with cyclodextrin as surfactant to enhance bioavailability. Enzym Microb Technol 27:709–713. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chauhan A, Fazlurrahman, Oakeshott JG, Jain RK (2008) Bacterial metabolism of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: strategies for bioremediation. Indian J Microbiol 48:95–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chen J, Wong MH, Wong YS, Tam NFY (2008) Multi-factors on biodegradation kinetics of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) by Sphingomonas sp. a bacterial strain isolated from mangrove sediment. Mar Pollut Bull 57:695–702. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Collins PJ, Kotterman MJJ, Field JA, Dobson ADW (1996) Oxidation of anthracene and benzo[a]pyrene by laccases from Trametes versicolor. Appl Environ Microbiol 62:4563–4567. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. Dean SM, Jin Y, Cha DK, Wilson SV, Radosevich M (2001) Phenanthrene degradation in soils co-inoculated with Phenanthrene-degrading and biosurfactant-producing bacteria. J Environ Qual 32:1126–1133. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Filonov AE, Karpov AV, Kosheleva IA, Puntus IF, Balashova NV, Boronin AM (2000) The efficiency of salicylate utilization by pseudomonas putida strains catabolizing naphthalene via different biochemical pathways. Process Biochem 35:983–987. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gopishetty SR, Heinemann J, Deshpande M, Rosazza JPN (2007) Aromatic oxidations by Streptomyces griseus: biotransformations of naphthalene to 4-hydroxy-1-tetralone. Enzym Microb Technol 40:1622–1626. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Haritash AK, Kaushik CP (2009) Biodegradation aspects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs): a review. J Hazard Mater 169:1–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hedlund BP, Geiselbrecht AD, Bair TJ, Staley JT (1999) Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon degradation by a new marine bacterium. Appl Environ Microbiol 65:251–259PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. Janbandhu A, Fulekar MH (2011) Biodegradation of phenanthrene using adapted microbial consortium isolated from petrochemical contaminated environment. J Hazard Mater 187(1–3):333–340Google Scholar
  12. Jin HM, Kim JM, Lee HJ, Madsen EL, Jeon CO (2012) Alteromonas as a key agent of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon biodegradation in crude oil-contaminated coastal sediment. Environ Sci Technol 46:7731–7740. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Johnsen AR, Wick LY, Harms H (2005) Principles of microbial PAH-degradation in soil. Environ Pollut 133:71–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Phale PS, Mahajan MC, Vaidyanathan CS (1997) Biodegradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. J Indian Inst Sci 77:141–174Google Scholar
  15. Prasad R (2017) Mycoremediation and environmental sustainability, vol 1. Springer International Publishing. ISBN 978-3-319-68957-9
  16. Prasad R (2018) Mycoremediation and environmental sustainability, vol 2. Springer International Publishing. ISBN 978-3-319-77386-5
  17. Samanta SK, Bhushan B, Jain RK (2001) Efficiency of naphthalene and salicylate degradation by a recombinant Pseudomonas putida mutant strain defective in glucose metabolism. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 55:627–631. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Singh B, Singh K (2016a) Microbial degradation of herbicides. Crit Rev Microbiol 42:245–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Singh B, Singh K (2016b) Bacillus: as bioremediator agent of major environmental pollutants. In: Islam M, Rahman M, Pandey P, Jha C, Aeron A (eds) Bacilli and agrobiotechnology. Springer, ChamGoogle Scholar
  20. Singh B, Kaur J, Singh K (2012) Microbial remediation of explosive waste. Crit Rev Microbiol 38(2):152–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Singh B, Kaur J, Singh K (2013) Bioremediation of malathion in soil by mixed bacillus culture. Adv Biosci Biotechnol (4):674–678.
  22. Singh B, Kaur J, Singh K (2014) Microbial degradation of an organophosphate pesticide, malathion. Crit Rev Microbiol 40:146–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Verdin A, Sahraoui ALH, Durand R (2004) Deg:radation of benzo[a]pyrene by mitosporic fungi and extracellular oxidative enzymes. Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 53:65–70. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ye JS, Yin H, Qiang J et al (2011) Biodegradation of anthracene by Aspergillus fumigatus. J Hazard Mater 185:174–181. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyPanjab UniversityChandigarhIndia

Personalised recommendations