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Microbial degradation of PAHs in coastal wetland ecosystem: mechanisms and influence of rhizosphere microorganisms and endophytes

Sponsor: National Natural Science Foundation of China (NNSFC)

Headed by Hong youwei

Date: 2011.01-2013.12  

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are ubiquitous environmental pollutants and accumulate in coastal wetland sediments, where microbial biodegradation is the primary route of attenuation of these carcinogenic and mutagenic pollutants. Recent studies indicate that PAHs are transported to the shoots of some plant species through the sediment-to-plant pathway. However little baseline information exists regarding the function of rhizosphere and endophytic microorganisms to metabolize PAHs in sediment-plant system. Through laboratory simulation test, this project aims to investigate the effects of different types of PAHs (Phenanthrene, Pyrene and Benzo[a]Pyrene) and plant species (Spartina alterniflora and Phragmites australis) on the community structure of rhizosphere and endophytic microorganisms, and to identify the interaction mechanism of morphology characteristics and root exudates and biodegradation activity (low- and high-molecular-weight PAH biodegradation) in coastal wetland ecosystem. And the function of endophytic microorganisms on plant uptake of PAHs would be discussed. 

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