Microbial Degradation of Benzo(a)pyrene

Date
2014-01-15
Authors
Cheng, Jonathan
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
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Benzo(a)pyrene is considered one of the most hazardous environmental contaminants in the world due to its high toxicity and carcinogenicity. It is also persistent in the environment as it is difficult for bacteria to biodegrade its fused five ring structure. The goal of this project is to isolate bacteria strains capable of degrading benzo(a)pyrene from a chemical-contaminated site at the Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii. This study resulted in the isolation of two bacterial species named J-1 and J-4 that can tolerate and survive in culture conditions of a high benzo(a)pyrene concentration. Both bacteria species show evidence supporting their growth and degradation of benzo(a)pyrene, however a lack of significant benzo(a)pyrene metabolites were detected. This work presents new information toward future studies into the use of J-1 and J-4 strains as agents towards the biodegradation of benzo(a)pyrene. This study also suggests the use of chemical compound phenanthrene as a co-substrate toward the bioremediation of benzo(a)pyrene.
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33 pages
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