Final Report: Characterization of PAH's Degrading Bacteria in Coastal Sediments

EPA Grant Number: R825513C034
Subproject: this is subproject number 034 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R825513
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: HSRC (1989) - South and Southwest HSRC
Center Director: Reible, Danny D.
Title: Characterization of PAH's Degrading Bacteria in Coastal Sediments
Investigators: Tadros, Mahasin G. , Hughes, Joseph B
Institution: Alabama A & M University , Rice University
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: January 1, 1995 through January 1, 1997
Project Amount: Refer to main center abstract for funding details.
RFA: Hazardous Substance Research Centers - HSRC (1989) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Substance Research Centers , Land and Waste Management


Little is known about the degrading flora present during the bioremediation process for treatment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The characterization of bacteria present would greatly enhance ongoing studies which are underway at Rice University. The goal of the proposed research was to quantify and characterize microorganisms in sediment samples contaminated with PAHs (Fluorene or phenathrene). Specific research objectives were:

  • Enumerate the micro flora (Bacteria) of the contaminated sediments, collected by Rice University (Houston) capable of degrading PAH's compounds: phenanthrene, fluorene, and naphthalene.
  • Isolate the bacteria degrading PAH's.
  • Identify and characterize the isolates.
  • Evaluate the isolates for the ability to degrade PAH's compounds.
  • Summary/Accomplishments (Outputs/Outcomes):

    The isolated organisms were evaluated for their ability to degrade PAHs compounds (fluorene or phenathrene). The results will support current research at Rice University (Houston), e.g. isolates can be applied in situ bioremediation experiments.

    The goal of the project was to quantify and characterize microorganisms in sediment samples contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs: phenathrene, fluorene, and naphthalene). The isolated organisms were evaluated for their ability to degrade PAHs compounds. The results indicated that the total number of recovered heterotrophic colony forming units was higher than some forming units produced by the PAHs compounds. There was relationship was between the biomass of the bacteria recovered from the sediment and the degradation of the compounds. This indicated the utilization of the compounds by the bacteria as carbon source. Two bacterial species were isolated from the contaminated sediments and identified as Pseudomonas sp, and Ochrobactrum sp.

    Journal Articles on this Report : 1 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

    Other subproject views: All 3 publications 2 publications in selected types All 1 journal articles
    Other center views: All 392 publications 154 publications in selected types All 106 journal articles
    Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
    Journal Article Tadros MG, Hughes JB. Degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) by indigenous mixed and pure cultures isolated from coastal sediments. Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology 1997;63-65:865-870. R825513C020 (Final)
    R825513C034 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Abstract: Ingenta Connect - Abstract
  • Supplemental Keywords:

    bioremediation, microorganisms, and phenathrene., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Water, Chemical Engineering, Contaminated Sediments, Environmental Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Hazardous Waste, Bioremediation, Ecology and Ecosystems, Hazardous, Environmental Engineering, environmental technology, sediment treatment, hazardous waste management, hazardous waste treatment, risk assessment, decontamination of soil and water, soil and groundwater remediation, biodegradation, decontamination of soil, risk management, contaminated sediment, chemical contaminants, contaminated soil, bioremediation of soils, contaminants in soil, PAHs, remediation, biotransformation, anaerobic biotransformation, extraction of metals, contaminated soils, metal compounds, bacterial degradation

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 1995

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R825513    HSRC (1989) - South and Southwest HSRC

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R825513C001 Sediment Resuspension and Contaminant Transport in an Estuary.
    R825513C002 Contaminant Transport Across Cohesive Sediment Interfaces.
    R825513C003 Mobilization and Fate of Inorganic Contaminant due to Resuspension of Cohesive Sediment.
    R825513C004 Source Identification, Transformation, and Transport Processes of N-, O- and S- Containing Organic Chemicals in Wetland and Upland Sediments.
    R825513C005 Mobility and Transport of Radium from Sediment and Waste Pits.
    R825513C006 Anaerobic Biodegradation of 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene and Other Nitroaromatic Compounds by Clostridium Acetobutylicum.
    R825513C007 Investigation on the Fate and Biotransformation of Hexachlorobutadiene and Chlorobenzenes in a Sediment-Water Estuarine System
    R825513C008 An Investigation of Chemical Transport from Contaminated Sediments through Porous Containment Structures
    R825513C009 Evaluation of Placement and Effectiveness of Sediment Caps
    R825513C010 Coupled Biological and Physicochemical Bed-Sediment Processes
    R825513C011 Pollutant Fluxes to Aquatic Systems via Coupled Biological and Physicochemical Bed-Sediment Processes
    R825513C012 Controls on Metals Partitioning in Contaminated Sediments
    R825513C013 Phytoremediation of TNT Contaminated Soil and Groundwaters
    R825513C014 Sediment-Based Remediation of Hazardous Substances at a Contaminated Military Base
    R825513C015 Effect of Natural Dynamic Changes on Pollutant-Sediment Interaction
    R825513C016 Desorption of Nonpolar Organic Pollutants from Historically Contaminated Sediments and Dredged Materials
    R825513C017 Modeling Air Emissions of Organic Compounds from Contaminated Sediments and Dredged Materials title change in last year to "Long-term Release of Pollutants from Contaminated Sediment Dredged Material"
    R825513C018 Development of an Integrated Optic Interferometer for In-Situ Monitoring of Volatile Hydrocarbons
    R825513C019 Bioremediation of Contaminated Sediments and Dredged Material
    R825513C020 Bioremediation of Sediments Contaminated with Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons
    R825513C021 Role of Particles in Mobilizing Hazardous Chemicals in Urban Runoff
    R825513C022 Particle Transport and Deposit Morphology at the Sediment/Water Interface
    R825513C023 Uptake of Metal Ions from Aqueous Solutions by Sediments
    R825513C024 Bioavailability of Desorption Resistant Hydrocarbons in Sediment-Water Systems.
    R825513C025 Interactive Roles of Microbial and Spartina Populations in Mercury Methylation Processes in Bioremediation of Contaminated Sediments in Salt-Marsh Systems
    R825513C026 Evaluation of Physical-Chemical Methods for Rapid Assessment of the Bioavailability of Moderately Polar Compounds in Sediments
    R825513C027 Freshwater Bioturbators in Riverine Sediments as Enhancers of Contaminant Release
    R825513C028 Characterization of Laguna Madre Contaminated Sediments.
    R825513C029 The Role of Competitive Adsorption of Suspended Sediments in Determining Partitioning and Colloidal Stability.
    R825513C030 Remediation of TNT-Contaminated Soil by Cyanobacterial Mat.
    R825513C031 Experimental and Detailed Mathematical Modeling of Diffusion of Contaminants in Fluids
    R825513C033 Application of Biotechnology in Bioremediation of Contaminated Sediments
    R825513C034 Characterization of PAH's Degrading Bacteria in Coastal Sediments
    R825513C035 Dynamic Aspects of Metal Speciation in the Miami River Sediments in Relation to Particle Size Distribution of Chemical Heterogeneity