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Effects of Apirolio Addition and Alfalfa and Compost Treatments on the Natural Microbial Community of a Historically PCB-Contaminated Soil

  • Autori: Di Lenola, Martina; Barra Caracciolo, Anna*; Grenni, Paola; Ancona, Valeria; Rauseo, Jasmin; Laudicina, Vito A.; Uricchio, Vito Felice; Massacci, Angelo
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2018
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Parole Chiave: Apirolio; Dehydrogenase activity; Fungi; PCB congeners; Proteobacteria; Soil quality; Environmental Engineering; Environmental Chemistry; Ecological Modeling; Water Science and Technology; Pollution
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Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are ubiquitous and persistent organic pollutants generated exclusively from human sources and found in the environment as several congeners (e.g. Apirolio, produced in Italy and used for electrical transformers). To evaluate the ability of the natural microbial community of historically PCB-contaminated soil to transform or degrade PCBs after fresh contamination through the addition of Apirolio, a microcosm experiment was conducted in a greenhouse for approximately 8 months. Compost and Medicago sativa (alfalfa) were additionally used in the microcosms to stimulate microbial PCB degradation. Chemical analyses were performed to evaluate PCB concentrations in the soil and plant tissue. Changes in the microbial community under the different experimental conditions were evaluated in terms of total abundance, viability, diversity, and activity. Interestingly, the addition of Apirolio did not negatively affect the microbial community but did stimulate the degradation of the freshly added PCBs. The plant and compost co-presence did not substantially increase PCB degradation, but it increased the microbial abundance and activity and the occurrence of α-Proteobacteria and fungi.