Removal of Hydrocarbons and Other Related Chemicals Via the Rhizosphere of Plants

  • Lázaro Molina
  • Pieter van Dillewijn
  • Estrella Duque
  • Craig Daniels
  • Tino Krell
  • Manuel Espinosa-Urgel
  • María Isabel Ramos-González
  • Sara Rodríguez-Conde
  • Miguel A. Matilla
  • Regina Wittich
  • Juan Luis Ramos
  • Ana SeguraEmail author
Living reference work entry
Part of the Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology book series (HHLM)


Recalcitrant organic toxic chemicals have been accumulating for decades as a consequence of industrial activity. Concerns about environmental contamination have been rising in the last three decades and therefore the need for soil remediation has become a priority. Although physicochemical techniques are currently the most efficient methods being used to remove contaminants, they are very expensive and therefore impractical in many locations. The use of plants in the bioremediation of soils has been proposed as an attractive strategy; however, plants lack the extraordinary biodegradative capabilities of microorganisms. Consequently rhizoremediation, a technology which combines microorganisms that eliminate contaminants in the plant roots which provide nutrients for these microorganisms, has emerged. To design a successful rhizoremediation strategy, microorganisms need to proliferate in the root system, and the bacterial catabolic pathways have to be operative. Recent advances in these aspects, together with some techniques to improve biodegradation in the rhizosphere will be presented in this chapter.



The work by authors was supported by research grants from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation and the Andalusian Regional Government, (Junta de Andalucía). We thank Angela Tate for improving the use of English in the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lázaro Molina
    • 1
  • Pieter van Dillewijn
    • 1
  • Estrella Duque
    • 1
  • Craig Daniels
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tino Krell
    • 1
  • Manuel Espinosa-Urgel
    • 1
  • María Isabel Ramos-González
    • 1
  • Sara Rodríguez-Conde
    • 1
  • Miguel A. Matilla
    • 1
  • Regina Wittich
    • 1
  • Juan Luis Ramos
    • 1
  • Ana Segura
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Environmental ProtectionEstación Experimental del Zaidín, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones CientíficasGranadaSpain
  2. 2.Developmental and Stem Cell Biology Program, Brain Tumour Research CentreThe Hospital for Sick ChildrenTorontoCanada

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