By Ivan A. Golubev
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Extra resources for Handbook of Phytoremediation (Environmental Science, Engineering and Technology)
The use of living organisms to manage or remediate polluted soils and water, is a well known biotechnological tool to degrade contaminants into non-or less-toxic compounds. Compared with traditional physico-chemical methods, bioremediation is generally the safest and least disruptive treatment. Regarding phenolic microbial remediation, there is a wide variety of pure and mixed cultures of microorganisms capable of degrading these compounds under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. It is well described that phenolics are degraded and mineralized by microorganisms because they are used as a source of energy and carbon skeletons for cell protein synthesis, both in terrestrial and aquatic environments.
12 Elizabeth Agostini, Melina A. Talano, Paola S. González et al. It is important to note that a fraction of the contaminant can undergo microbiological transformations by phyllospheric and, mainly, by rhizospheric microorganisms. Sandhu et al. (2007) provided the first direct evidence that leaf-associated microbial communities in phyllosphere can degrade phenol from the air (phylloremediation). This finding indicated that bacteria on leaves could potentially contribute to phenolic natural attenuation.
Talano, Paola S. González, et al. , 2002). Thus, different plant species can differ in the degree of cross-reactivity of their detoxifying enzymes (Sandermann, 2004). In some cases when phenols are glycosylated, the existence of di- and triglycosides has been demonstrated. For instance, diglycoside (gentiobioside) and triglycosides were formed from exogenous hydroquinone in wheat embryos (Harborne, 1977). , 2008). , 2002). In some annual plant seedlings, phenol was not glycosylated either, but was conjugated with low-molecular-weight peptides, forming phenol-peptide conjugates.