Effect of bioaugmentation and supplementary carbon sources on degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by a soil-derived culture


  • Present address: René van Herwijnen, Environmental and Human Science Division, Forest Research, Alice Holt Lodge, Farnham, Surrey, UK

  • Martina Hausner, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA.

John R. Parsons, Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 199, 1018 WV Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Tel.:+31 20 5256580; fax: +31 20525 7431; e-mail: jparsons@science.uva.nl


The degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) by an undefined culture obtained from a PAH-polluted soil and the same culture bioaugmented with three PAH-degrading strains was studied in carbon-limited chemostat cultures. The PAHs were degraded efficiently by the soil culture and bioaugmentation did not significantly improve the PAH degrading performance. The presence of PAHs did, however, influence the bacterial composition of the bioaugmented and non-bioaugmented soil cultures, resulting in the increase in cell concentration of sphingomonad strains. the initial enhancement of the degradation of the PAHs by biostimulation gradually disappeared and only the presence of salicylate in the additional carbon sources had a lasting slightly stimulating effect on the degradation of phenanthrene. The results suggest that bioaugmentation and biostimulation have limited potential to enhance PAH bioremediation by culture already proficient in the degradation of such contaminants.