Bioremediation via environmental introductions of degradative microorganisms requires that the microbes survive in substantial numbers and effect an increase in the rate and extent of pollutant removal. Combined field and microcosm studies were used to assess these abilities for laboratory-grown bacteria. Following introduction into a contaminated aquifer, viable cells of Pseudomonas sp. B13 were present in the contaminant plume for 447 days; die-off was rapid in pristine areas. In aquifer microcosms, survival of B13 and FR120, a genetically engineered derivative of B13 having enhanced catabolic capabilities for substituted aromatics, was comparable to B13 field results; both bacteria degraded target pollutants in microcosms made with aquifer samples from the aerobic zone of the pollutant plume. Results suggest that field studies with nonrecombinant microorganisms may be coupled to laboratory studies with derivative strains to estimate their bioremediative efficacy. Furthermore, laboratory strains of bacteria can survive for extended periods of time in nature and thus may have important bioremediative applications. ?? 1994 American Chemical Society.
Additional publication details
Behavior of pollutant-degrading microorganisms in aquifers: Predictions for genetically engineered organisms