Petroleum contamination and bioaugmentation in bacterial rhizosphere communities from Avicennia schaueriana
Anthropogenic activity, such as accidental oil spills, are typical sources of urban mangrove pollution that may affect mangrove bacterial communities as well as their mobile genetic elements. To evaluate remediation strategies, we followed over the time the effects of a petroleum hydrocarbon degrading consortium inoculated on mangrove tree Avicennia schaueriana against artificial petroleum contamination in a phytoremediation greenhouse experiment. Interestingly, despite plant protection due to the inoculation, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene fragments amplified from the total community DNA indicated that the different treatments did not significantly affect the bacterial community composition. However, while the bacterial community was rather stable, pronounced shifts were observed in the abundance of bacteria carrying plasmids. A PCR-Southern blot hybridization analysis indicated an increase in the abundance of IncP-9 catabolic plasmids. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of naphthalene dioxygenase (ndo) genes amplified from cDNA (RNA) indicated the dominance of a specific ndo gene in the inoculated petroleum amendment treatment. The petroleum hydrocarbon degrading consortium characterization indicated the prevalence of bacteria assigned to Pseudomonas spp., Comamonas spp. and Ochrobactrum spp. IncP-9 plasmids were detected for the first time in Comamonas sp. and Ochrobactrum spp., which is a novelty of this study.