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Impact of Zn and Cu on the development of phenanthrene catabolism in soil

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date12/2013
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Number of pages9
Early online date23/06/13
Original languageEnglish


Mixtures of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heavy metals are of major concern in contaminated soil. Biodegradation of PAHs in metal-contaminated soils is complicated because metals are toxic and cannot be degraded by biological processes. This investigation considered the effects of Zn and Cu (50, 100, 500 and 1,000 mg/kg) on (14)C-phenanthrene biodegradation in soil over 60-day contact time. The presence of Zn at all concentrations and low concentrations of Cu (50 and 100 mg/kg) had no significant effect (p > 0.05) on the development of phenanthrene catabolism; however, at higher Cu concentrations, the development of phenanthrene catabolism and bacterial cell numbers were significantly reduced (p