Although metals are thought to inhibit the ability of microorganisms to degrade organic pollutants, several microbial mechanisms of resistance to metal are known to exist. This study examined the potential of cadmium-resistant microorganisms to reduce soluble cadmium levels to enhance degradation of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) under conditions of cocontamination. Four cadmium-resistant soil microorganisms were examined in this study. Resistant up to a cadmium concentration of 275 μg ml-1, these isolates represented the common soil genera Arthrobacter, Bacillus, and Pseudomonas. Isolates Pseudomonas sp. strain H1 and Bacillus sp. strain H9 had a plasmid-dependent intracellular mechanism of cadmium detoxification, reducing soluble cadmium levels by 36%. Isolates Arthrobacter strain D9 and Pseudomonas strain I1a both produced an extracellular polymer layer that bound and reduced soluble cadmium levels by 22 and 11%, respectively. Although none of the cadmium-resistant isolates could degrade 2,4-D, results of dual-bioaugmentation studies conducted with both pure culture and laboratory soil microcosms showed that each of four cadmium-resistant isolates supported the degradation of 500-μg ml-1 2,4-D by the cadmium-sensitive 2,4-D degrader Ralstonia eutropha JMP134. Degradation occurred in the presence of up to 24 μg of cadmium ml-1 in pure culture and up to 60 μg of cadmium g-1 in amended soil microcosms. In a pilot field study conducted with 5-gallon soil bioreactors, the dual-bioaugmentation strategy was again evaluated. Here, the cadmium-resistant isolate Pseudomonas strain H1 enhanced degradation of 2,4-D in reactors inoculated with R. eutropha JMP134 in the presence of 60 μg of cadmium g-1. Overall, dual bioaugmentation appears to be a viable approach in the remediation of cocontaminated soils.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology