Anaerobic benzene degradation in petroleum-contaminated aquifer sediments after inoculation with a benzene-oxidizing enrichment

Appl Environ Microbiol. 1998 Feb;64(2):775-8. doi: 10.1128/AEM.64.2.775-778.1998.


Sediments from the sulfate-reduction zone of a petroleum-contaminated aquifer, in which benzene persisted, were inoculated with a benzene-oxidizing, sulfate-reducing enrichment from aquatic sediments. Benzene was degraded, with apparent growth of the benzene-degrading population over time. These results suggest that the lack of benzene degradation in the sulfate-reduction zones of some aquifers may result from the failure of the appropriate benzene-degrading sulfate reducers to colonize the aquifers rather than from environmental conditions that are adverse for anaerobic benzene degradation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anaerobiosis
  • Benzene / metabolism*
  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Fresh Water
  • Geologic Sediments*
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Petroleum / metabolism*
  • Sulfates / metabolism


  • Petroleum
  • Sulfates
  • Iron
  • Benzene