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Development of plant-microbe phytoremediation system for petroleum hydrocarbon degradation: An insight from alkb gene expression and phytotoxicity analysis

Iqbal, Aneela, Mukherjee, Maitreyee, Rashid, Jamshaid, Khan, Saud Ahmed, Ali, Muhammad Arif, Arshad, Muhammad
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.671 pp. 696-704
Arabidopsis thaliana, Lolium perenne, Pseudomonas, alkanes, bacteria, bacterial colonization, cultivars, endophytes, enzymes, gene expression, genes, hydroponics, industrial applications, petroleum, phytoremediation, phytotoxicity, plant growth, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, soil
Aim of present work was to assess in-planta association potential of isolated endophytic bacterial strain Pseudomonas sp. (J10) (KY608252) with two cultivars of Lolium perenne L. (small & jumbo) and Arabidopsis thaliana L. for total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) degradation, alkane monooxygenase (alkb) gene expression and phytotoxicity analysis. A plant-microbe phytoremediation system was established to investigate the bacteria's ability to colonize the plant body and quantification of alkb gene to help withstand TPH stress in soil as well as in hydroponics. A real-time PCR method was developed to analyze bacterial colonization and survival within the plant body. Analysis revealed that J10 efficiently colonized all the tested plant species and expressed alkb gene under hydrocarbon stress ranging between 3.7 × 102–3.9 × 106 in A. thaliana and L. perenne (small), respectively. The colonization was more pronounced in soil as compared to hydroponic system. J10 inoculation reduced phytotoxicity and suggested that inoculation had a positive effect on plant growth under stress conditions as compared to control. L. perenne (small) showed significant TPH removal efficiency (45.6%) followed by L. perenne jumbo (24.5%) and A. thaliana (6.2%). In hydroponics, L. perenne (small) degraded about 28.2% TPH followed by L. perenne (jumbo) as 24.4%. Potential of the indigenously isolated plant endophytes may be exploited further for phytoremediation efficiency and industrial applications.