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Acute Effects Of PAH Contamination On Microbial Community Of Different Forest Soils.

E. Picariello, D. Baldantoni, F. De Nicola
Published 2020 · Chemistry, Medicine

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Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are hazardous organic compounds with mutagenic, genotoxic and carcinogenic properties. Although PAHs in soil can cause toxicity to microorganisms, the microbial community is able to degrade these compounds. For this reason, it is important to study acute and short-term effects of PAH contamination on soil microbial community, also to shed light on its possible exploitation in soil restoration. The effects of acute PAH contamination on the structure and metabolic activity of microbial communities in three forest (beech, holm oak, black pine) soils were studied. The soils were spiked with phenanthrene, pyrene or benzo[a]pyrene and incubated in experimental mesocosms, under controlled conditions. Enzymatic activities (laccase, total peroxidase and hydrolase), as well as microbial biomass and community structure (through phospholipid fatty acid and ergosterol analyses), were evaluated in the three soil systems 4 days after contamination and compared to no-spiked soils. In soil under holm oak, there was a stimulation of Gram+ bacteria after contamination with all the 3 PAHs, whereas in soil under pine, pyrene and phenanthrene additions mainly stimulated fungi and actinomycetes.
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