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Degradation of benzene, toluene, and xylene isomers by a bacterial consortium obtained from rhizosphere soil of Cyperus sp. grown in a petroleum-contaminated area

Ortega-González, Diana Katherine, Zaragoza, Diego, Aguirre-Garrido, José, Ramírez-Saad, Hugo, Hernández-Rodríguez, César, Jan-Roblero, Janet
Folia microbiologica 2013 v.58 no.6 pp. 569-577
Burkholderia kururiensis, Cellulomonas hominis, Cyperus, Ralstonia, Serratia marcescens, bacteria, benzene, biodegradation, genes, groundwater, isomers, nucleotide sequences, oils, phenol, rhizosphere, ribosomal RNA, sequence analysis, soil, soil pollution, soil remediation, toluene, xylene, Mexico
Increasing contamination of soil and groundwater with benzene, toluene, and xylene (BTX) due to activities of the chemical and oil refinery industry has caused serious environmental damage. Efficient methods are required to isolate and degrade them. Microorganisms associated with rhizosphere soil are considered efficient agents to remediate hydrocarbon contamination. In this study, we obtained a stabilized bacterial consortium from the rhizosphere soil of Cyperus sp. grown in a petroleum-contaminated field in Southern Mexico. This consortium was able to completely degrade BTX in 14 days. Bacteria isolated from the consortium were identified by 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis as Ralstonia insidiosa, Cellulomonas hominis, Burkholderia kururiensis, and Serratia marcescens. The BTX-degradation capacity of the bacterial consortium was confirmed by the detection of genes pheA, todC1, and xylM, which encoded phenol hydroxylase, toluene 1,2-dioxygenase, and xylene monooxygenase, respectively. Our results demonstrate feasibility of BTX biodegradation by indigenous bacteria that might be used for soil remediation in Southern Mexico.