Publication Detail

Aerobic Bioremediation of Chlorobenzene Source-zone Soil in Flow-through Columns: Performance Assessment Using Quantitative PCR

UCD-ITS-RP-08-69

Reprint

Available online at: doi: 10.1007/s10532-007-9160-4

Suggested Citation:
Dominguez-Faus, Rosa, Marcio L. B. da Silva, Travis McGuire, David Adamson, Charles Newell, Pedro J. Alvarez (2008) Aerobic Bioremediation of Chlorobenzene Source-zone Soil in Flow-through Columns: Performance Assessment Using Quantitative PCR. Biodegradation 19 (4), 545 - 553

Flow-through aquifer columns were operated for 12 weeks to evaluate the benefits of aerobic biostimulation for the bioremediation of source-zone soil contaminated with chlorobenzenes (CBs). Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) was used to measure the concentration of total bacteria (16S rRNA gene) and oxygenase genes involved in the biodegradation of aromatic compounds (i.e., toluene dioxygenase, ring hydroxylating monooxygenase, naphthalene dioxygenase, phenol hydroxylase, and biphenyl dioxygenase). Monochlorobenzene, which is much more soluble than dichlorobenzenes, was primarily removed by flushing, and biostimulation showed little benefit. In contrast, dichlorobenzene removal was primarily due to biodegradation, and the removal efficiency was much higher in oxygen-amended columns compared to a control column. To our knowledge, this is the first report that oxygen addition can enhance CB source-zone soil bioremediation. Analysis by qPCR showed that whereas the biphenyl and toluene dioxygenase biomarkers were most abundant, increases in the concentration of the phenol hydroxylase gene reflected best the higher dichlorobenzene removal due to aerobic biostimulation. This suggests that quantitative molecular microbial ecology techniques could be useful to assess CB source-zone bioremediation performance.

Keywords:  chlorobenzene; Aerobic; Biodegradation; Biomakers; Oxygenases; qPCR