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Summary

The fate of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in soil is driven by a combination of interacting biological processes. Several investigations have brought evidence that the rhizosphere provides a remarkable ecological niche to enhance the PCB degradation process by rhizobacteria. The bacterial oxidative enzymes involved in PCB degradation have been investigated extensively and novel engineered enzymes exhibiting enhanced catalytic activities toward more persistent PCBs have been described. Furthermore, recent studies suggest that approaches involving processes based on plant-microbe associations are very promising to remediate PCB-contaminated sites. In this review emphasis will be placed on the current state of knowledge regarding the strategies that are proposed to engineer the enzymes of the PCB-degrading bacterial oxidative pathway and to design PCB-degrading plant-microbe systems to remediate PCB-contaminated soil.