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Biodegradation of phenanthrene by indigenous microorganisms in soils from Livingstone Island, Antarctica

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2012
<mark>Journal</mark>FEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number1
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)69-77
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Biodegradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in soils has been linked to history of exposure to PAHs and prevailing environmental conditions. This work assessed the capacity of indigenous microorganisms in soils collected in Livingstone Island (South Shetlands Islands, Antarctica) with no history of pollution (∑PAHs: 0.14–1.47 ng g−1 dw) to degrade 14C-phenanhthrene at 4, 12 and 22 °C. The study provides evidence of the presence of phenanthrene-degrading microorganisms in all studied soils. Generally, the percentage of 14C-phenanhthrene mineralized increased with increasing temperature. The highest extent of 14C-phenanhthrene mineralization (47.93%) was observed in the slurried system at 22 °C. This work supports findings of the presence of PAH-degrading microorganisms in uncontaminated soils and suggests the case is the same for uncontaminated Antarctic remote soils.