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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2000 Dec;66(12):5282-9.

Composition of soil microbial communities enriched on a mixture of aromatic hydrocarbons.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


Soil contaminated with C5+, which contained benzene (45%, wt/wt), dicyclopentadiene (DCPD) plus cyclopentadiene (together 20%), toluene (6%), styrene (3%), xylenes (2%), naphthalene (2%), and smaller quantities of other compounds, served as the source for isolation of 55 genomically distinct bacteria (standards). Use of benzene as a substrate by these bacteria was most widespread (31 of 44 standards tested), followed by toluene (23 of 44), xylenes (14 of 44), styrene (10 of 44), and naphthalene (10 of 44). Master filters containing denatured genomic DNAs of all 55 standards were used to analyze the community compositions of C5+ enrichment cultures by reverse sample genome probing (RSGP). The communities enriched from three contaminated soils were similar to those enriched from three uncontaminated soils from the same site. The compositions of these communities were time dependent and showed a succession of Pseudomonas and Rhodococcus spp. before convergence on a composition dominated by Alcaligenes spp. The dominant community members detected by RSGP were capable of benzene degradation at all stages of succession. The enrichments effectively degraded all C5+ components except DCPD. Overall, degradation of individual C5+ hydrocarbons followed first-order kinetics, with the highest rates of removal for benzene.

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