Selective enrichment of a pyrene degrader population and enhanced pyrene degradation in Bermuda grass rhizosphere Academic Article uri icon


  • Rhizosphere soil has a more diverse and active microbial community compared to nonvegetated soil. Consequently, the rhizosphere pyrene degrader population (PDP) and pyrene degradation may be enhanced compared to nonvegetated bulk soil (NVB). The objectives of this growth chamber study were to compare (1) Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon cv. Guymon) growth in pyrene-contaminated and noncontaminated soils and (2) pyrene degradation and PDP among NVB, Bermuda grass bulk (BB), and Bermuda grass rhizosphere soil (BR). Soils were amended with pyrene at 0 and 500 mg kg-1, seeded with Bermuda grass, and thinned to two plants per pot 14 days after planting (DAP). Pyrene degradation was evaluated over 63 days. The PDP was enumerated via a most probable number (MPN) procedure at 63 DAP. Bermuda grass root growth was more sensitive to pyrene contamination than shoot growth. Pyrene degradation followed first-order kinetics. Pyrene degradation was significantly greater in BR compared to BB and NVB with rate constants of 0.082, 0.050, and 0.052 day-1, respectively. The PDPs were 8.01, 7.30, and 6.83 log10 MPN g -1 dry soil for BR, BB, and NVB, respectively. The largest PDP was in soil with the most rapid pyrene degradation. These results indicate that Bermuda grass can grow in pyrene-contaminated soil and enhance pyrene degradation through a rhizosphere effect. Springer-Verlag 2005.

published proceedings

  • Biology and Fertility of Soils

author list (cited authors)

  • Krutz, L. J., Beyrouty, C. A., Gentry, T. J., Wolf, D. C., & Reynolds, C. M.

citation count

  • 32

complete list of authors

  • Krutz, LJ||Beyrouty, CA||Gentry, TJ||Wolf, DC||Reynolds, CM

publication date

  • July 2005