Enhanced biotransformation of TCE using plant terpenoids in contaminated groundwater

Brown, J.R.-M.; Thompson, I.P.; Paton, G.I.; Singer, A.C.. 2009 Enhanced biotransformation of TCE using plant terpenoids in contaminated groundwater. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 49 (6). 769-774.

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Aims: To examine plant terpenoids as inducers of TCE biotransformation by an indigenous microbial community originating from a plume of TCE-contaminated groundwater. Methods and Results: One-litre microcosms of groundwater were spiked with 100 mol 1-1 of TCE and amended weekly for 16 weeks with 20 l 1-1 of the following plant monoterpenes: linalool, pulegone, R- (+)-carvone, S- (-)carvone, farnesol, cumene. Yeast extract- and un-amended control treatments were also prepared. The addition of R- and S-carvone, linalool and cumene resulted in the biotransformation of upwards of 88 % of the TCE, significantly more than the unamendment control (61 %). The aforementioned group of terpenes also significantly (P < 0.05) allowed more TCE to be degraded than the remaining two terpenes (farnesol and pulegone) and the yeast extract treatment which biotransformed 74-75 % of the TCE. The microbial community profile was monitored by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and demonstrated much greater similarities between the microbial communities in terpene-amended treatments than in the yeast extract or unamended controls. Conclusions: TCE biotransformation can be signficantly enhanced through the addition of selected plant terpenoids. Significance and Impact of Study: Plant terpenoid and nutrient supplementation to groundwater might provide an environmentally benign means of enhancing the rate of in situ TCE bioremediation.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biogeochemistry > SE01B Sustainable Monitoring, Risk Assessment and Management of Chemicals
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biogeochemistry > BGC Topic 3 - Managing Threats to Environment and Health
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Hails
ISSN: 0266-8254
Additional Keywords: Secondary plant metabolites, biostimulation, TCE, groundwater, plant terpenes, carvone, cumene
NORA Subject Terms: Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 26 Jan 2010 11:22 +0 (UTC)

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