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Rhamnolipid influences biosorption and biodegradation of phenanthrene by phenanthrene-degrading strain Pseudomonas sp. Ph6

Ma, Zhao, Liu, Juan, Dick, Richard P., Li, Hui, Shen, Di, Gao, Yanzheng, Waigi, Michael Gatheru, Ling, Wanting
Environmental pollution 2018 v.240 pp. 359-367
Pseudomonas, bioavailability, biodegradation, biosorption, biosurfactants, hydrophobicity, microstructure, moieties, phenanthrenes, rhamnolipids, risk, zeta potential
Given the sub-lethal risks of synthetic surfactants, rhamnolipid is a promising class of biosurfactants with the potential to promote the bioavailability of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), to provide a favorable substitute for synthetic surfactants. However, few previous studies have integrated the behavior and mechanism behind rhamnolipid-influenced PAH biosorption and biodegradation. This is, to our knowledge, the first report of a bacterial envelope regulated link between phenanthrene (PHE) biosorption and biodegradation by rhamnolipid-induced PHE-degrading strain Pseudomonas sp. Ph6. Rhamnolipid (0─400 mg L−1) can change the cell-surface zeta potential, cell surface hydrophobicity (CSH), cell ultra-microstructure and functional groups, and then alter PHE biosorption and biodegradation of Ph6. Greater amounts of PHE sorbed on cell envelopes results in more PHE diffusing into cytochylema, thus favoring PHE intracellular biodegradation of Ph6. Rhamnolipid (≤100 mg L−1) could change the microstructures and functional groups of cell envelopes of Ph6, enhance the cell-surface zeta potential and CSH, thus consequently favor PHE biosorption and biodegradation by strain Ph6. By contrast, rhamnolipid at higher concentrations (≥200 mg L−1) hindered PHE biosorption and biodegradation. Rhamnolipid, as a biosurfactant, can be successfully utilized as an additive to improve the microbial biodegradation of PAHs in the environments.