IWA Publishing
IWA Publishing

Sustainable biodegradation of phenolic endocrine-disrupting chemicals by Phragmites australisrhizosphere bacteria association


The efficacy of two rhizobacteria (Sphingobium fuliginis TIK1 and Sphingobium sp. IT4) of Phragmites australis for the sustainable treatment of water polluted with phenolic endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) was investigated. Strains TIK1 and IT4 have recently been isolated from Phragmites rhizosphere and shown to degrade various 4-alkylphenols–TIK1 via phenolic ring hydroxylation and meta-cleavage and IT4 via ipso-hydroxylation. The two strains also degraded bisphenol A (BPA), bisphenol B, bisphenol E, bisphenol F, bisphenol P and bisphenol S (BPS). Thus, strains TIK1 and IT4 have wide degradation spectra for phenolic EDCs. The two strains utilized Phragmites root extracts as a sole carbon source and sustainably colonized Phragmites roots, where they degraded phenolic EDCs. In sequencing batch reactor experiments using Phragmites in association with TIK1 or IT4, both associations repeatedly removed phenolic EDCs from polluted secondary effluent water (BPA, BPS, 4-tert-butylphenol, 4-tert-octylphenol and 4-nonylphenol) from polluted secondary effluent water. The results suggest that hydroponic systems using Phragmites–TIK and Phragmites–IT4 associations would be useful for sustainable treatment of polluted waters containing various phenolic EDCs.

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