Changes in microbial populations were evaluated following inoculation of contaminated soil with a 3-chlorobenzoate degrader. Madera sandy loam was amended with 0, 500, or 1000 μg 3-chlorobenzoate g-1 dry soil. Selected microcosms were inoculated with the degrader Comamonas testosteroni BR60. Culturable bacterial degraders were enumerated on minimal salts media containing 3-chlorobenzoate. Culturable heterotrophic bacteria were enumerated on R2A. Isolated degraders were grouped by enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus sequence-polymerase chain reaction fingerprints and identified based on 16S ribosomal-DNA sequences. Bioaugmentation increased the rate of degradation at both levels of 3-chlorobenzoate. In both the 500 and 1000 μg 3-chlorobenzoate g-1 dry soil inoculated microcosms, degraders increased from the initial inoculum and decreased following degradation of 3-CB. Inoculation delayed the development of indigenous 3-chlorobenzoate degrading populations. It is unclear if inoculation altered the composition of indigenous degrader populations. In the uninoculated soil, degraders increased from undetectable levels to 6.6 × 107 colony-forming-units g-1 dry soil in the 500 μg 3-chlorobenzoate g-1 dry soil microcosms, but none were detected in the 1000 μg 3-chlorobenzoate g-1 dry soil microcosms. Degraders isolated from uninoculated soil were identified as one of two distinct Burkholderia species. In the uninoculated soil, numbers of culturable heterotrophic bacteria initially decreased following addition of 1000 μg 3-chlorobenzoate g-1 dry soil. Inoculation with C. testosteroni reduced this negative impact on culturable bacterial numbers. The results indicate that bioaugmentation may not only increase the rate of 3-chlorobenzoate degradation but also reduce the deleterious effects of 3-chlorbenzoate on indigenous soil microbial populations.
- Comamonas testosteroni
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