The effect of organic acids on the behaviour and biodegradation of 14C-phenanthrene in contaminated soil

Vázquez-Cuevas, G.M. and Lag-Brotons, A.J. and Ortega-Calvo, J.J. and Stevens, C.J. and Semple, K.T. (2020) The effect of organic acids on the behaviour and biodegradation of 14C-phenanthrene in contaminated soil. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 143. ISSN 0038-0717

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The interaction between root exudates and soil microbes has been hypothesised as the primary mechanism for the biodegradation of organic pollutants in the rhizosphere. However, the mechanisms governing this loss process are not completely understood. This study aimed to investigate the effect of two important compounds within root exudates (citric and malic acid) on 14C-phenanthrene desorption and bioaccessibility in soil. Overall results showed that the presence of both citric and malic acid (>100 mmol l−1) enhanced the desorption of 14C-phenanthrene; this appeared to be concentration dependant. Increases in extractability were not reflected in a higher bioaccessibility. Despite enhancing the desorption of 14C-phenanthrene in soil, there is no direct evidence indicating that citric or malic acid have the ability to promote the biodegradation of 14C-phenanthrene from soil. Results from this study provide a novel understanding of the role that substrates, typically found within the rhizosphere due to root exudation, play in the bioaccessibility and biodegradation of hydrocarbons in contaminated soil.

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Journal Article
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Soil Biology and Biochemistry
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This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Soil Biology and Biochemistry. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 143, 2020 DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2020.107722
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06 Feb 2020 13:55
Last Modified:
17 Sep 2023 02:45