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Biological Soil Detoxication


Development of Biotechnology for Soil Detoxication from Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrcarbons on the Basis of Application of Chemotactically Active Microorganisms of Plant Rhizosphere

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-RED/Remediation and Decontamination/Environment
  • BIO-REM/Bioremediation/Biotechnology

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Svetlova A V

Leading Institute
Research Center of Toxicology and Hygienic Regulation of Biopreparations, Russia, Moscow reg., Serpukhov


  • Biopract, Germany, Berlin\nConsejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas / Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Agrobiología de Sevilla, Spain, Sevillia\nNational Center for Toxicological Research, USA, AR, Jefferson

Project summary

The goal of the project is to develop technology of soil detoxication from pollution by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on the basis of application of chemotactically active microorganisms of plant rhizosphere.

The contamination of the environment with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons is a serious threat to health of population and nature. PAHs concern to a category of priority environmental pollutants. PAHs as industrial wastes of chemical and oil refineries industry with shower effluents get into natural ecosystems, which major part is soil. Thus, fertility of soils and quality of obtained production is sharply reduced. One of the promising methods for resolution of the actual ecological problem is development of biological methods for remediation of soils polluted by PAHs.

It is established that biodegradation of PAHs by microorganisms is carried out more heavily in rhizosphere of plants, than directly in soil. Introduced into rhizosphere of plants chemotactically active microorganisms-degraders are capable to colonise a near-root zone of plants. Chemotactically active microorganisms realising destruction of PAHs in a near-root zone, simultaneously reduce toxic effect of PAHs on plants.

Development of technology for bioremediation of soils polluted by PAHs will be based on the experience of author’s group of the RCT&HRB, gained during development of biotechnology for remediation of soils polluted by toxic chemical substances: polyphenyls, oil products and phenols under implementation of joint agreement with Toyota firm and the ISTC project #228.

To reach the goal, it is planned to resolve the following tasks:

to organise the collection of chemotactically active microorganisms-biodegraders of PAHs;
to study efficiency of PAHs rhizoremediation by chemotactically active PAHs-degrading microorganisms under condition of vegetative (pot) experiment.
to study efficiency of PAHs rhizoremediation by chemotactically active PAHs-degrading microorganisms in native soil (in situ).
to perform ecologo-toxicological estimation of a biotechnological method of remediation of soils polluted by PAHs based on application of chemotactically active microorganisms-degraders.

Expected results

As a result of the project realisation a conception of remediation soils polluted by PAHs based on use of chemotactically active microorganisms-degraders of plant rhizosphere will be developed.

During the project implementation ecologically safe and efficient technology for remediation of soils polluted by PAHs will be developed, author's collection of chemotactic PAHs- degrading microorganisms will be gathered and the technigue for application of PAHs-degrading strains will be elaborated.

The new data about a role of chemotaxis in biodegradation of PAHs will present the scientific interest. The practical interest will present the occurrence of the new biotechnology of soil remediation from contamination of PAHs on the basis of application of chemotactically active microorganisms of plant rhizosphere.

Technical Approach and Methodology

The implementation of the proposed project is planned to carry out in accordance with GOST 16504-01 and GOST 40.9001-88 with use of operable equipment.

Isolation of chemotactically active PAHs-degrading microorganisms will be carried out from natural areas polluted by PAHs, using the selected cultures method.

Studies of chemoeffectory properties of PAHs biodegrading strain will be performed with use of the capillary method and half-liquid agar and also with the method of forming culture layers on the bottom of ditches.

Studies of harmfulness of the isolated chemotactic PAHs-biodegrading strains are planned to carry out with use of experimental animals.

Care of experimental animals will be done in accordance with “Sanitary rules for designing, equipping and keeping up experimental biological clinics (vivariums)” (Order of USSR Ministry of Health of 12.08.77, No 755).

Ecologo-toxicological estimation of soils and PAHs solutions will be performed by biotesting on earthworms, daphnia, and Guppi-fish; study of phytotoxicity — with use of rootlets of plant seeds.

Experimental investigations of the general toxic effect of soils polluted by PAHs before and after application of chemotactic microorganisms-degraders are planned to study using experimental animals.

To study impact of introduction of microorganisms-degraders into plant rhizosphere on the rate of PAHs biodegradation will be performed under conditions of laboratory and field experiments.

Evaluation of contents of PAHs during the studies will be carried out by gas chromatography and by the method of thin-layer chromatography.

The role of foreign collaborators

Foreign collaborators would participate in the project under the following directions:

1. Patent-information support of the project.
2. Providing of methodical recommendations on problems of PAHs biodegradation with use of microorganisms in soil and plant rhizosphere.
3. Preparing and review of scientific publications.
4. Discussion of the project implementation.


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