Bioaugmentation is an effective approach to remediate soils contaminated by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), but suffers from unsatisfactory performance in engineering practices, which is hypothetically explained by the complicated interactions between indigenous microbes and introduced degraders. This study isolated a cultivable pyrene degrader (Sphingomonas sp. YT1005) and an active pyrene degrading consortium (Gp16, Streptomyces, Pseudonocardia, Panacagrimonas, Methylotenera and Nitrospira) by magnetic-nanoparticle mediated isolation (MMI) from soils. Pyrene biodegradation was postponed in bioaugmentation with Sphingomonas sp. YT1005, whilst increased by 30.17% by the active pyrene degrading consortium. Pyrene dioxygenase encoding genes (nidA, nidA3 and PAH-RHDα-GP) were enriched in MMI isolates and positively correlated with pyrene degradation efficiency. Pyrene degradation by Sphingomonas sp. YT1005 only followed the phthalate pathway, whereas both phthalate and salicylate pathways were observed in the active pyrene degrading consortium. The results indicated that the uncultivable pyrene degraders were suitable for bioaugmentation, rather than cultivable Sphingomonas sp. YT1005. The negative correlations between Sphingomonas sp. YT1005 and the active-yet-uncultivable pyrene degraders were the underlying mechanisms of bioaugmentation postpone in engineering practices.
Keywords: Bioaugmentation; Degradation pathway; Magnetic nanoparticle-mediated isolation (MMI); Pyrene; Soils.
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