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Development of an Autochthonous Microbial Consortium for Enhanced Bioremediation of PAH-Contaminated Soil

Roszak, Marta; Jabłońska, Joanna; Stachurska, Xymena; Dubrowska, Kamila; Kajdanowicz, Justyna; Gołębiewska, Marta; Kiepas-Kokot, Anna; Osińska, Beata; Augustyniak, Adrian; Karakulska, Jolanta

FG Baustoffe und Bauchemie

The main objectives of this study were to isolate bacteria from soil chronically contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), develop an autochthonous microbial consortium, and evaluate its ability to degrade PAHs in their native contaminated soil. Strains with the best bioremediation potential were selected during the multi-stage isolation process. Moreover, to choose bacteria with the highest bioremediation potential, the presence of PAH-degrading genes (pahE) was confirmed and the following tests were performed: tolerance to heavy metals, antagonistic behavior, phytotoxicity, and antimicrobial susceptibility. In vitro degradation of hydrocarbons led to the reduction of the total PAH content by 93.5% after the first day of incubation and by 99.22% after the eighth day. Bioremediation experiment conducted in situ in the contaminated area resulted in the average reduction of the total PAH concentration by 33.3% after 5 months and by over 72% after 13 months, compared to the concentration recorded before the intervention. Therefore, this study implicates that the development of an autochthonous microbial consortium isolated from long-term PAH-contaminated soil has the potential to enhance the bioremediation process.