The activity of phyllosphere bacteria in the degradation of phenanthrene was investigated as a mechanism for the removal of atmospheric phenanthrene after its deposition on plant leaves. Initially, leaf samples of six plant species were collected from two roadsides in Bangkok to determine the presence of phenanthrene-degrading bacteria. The numbers of phenanthrene-degrading phyllosphere bacteria were varied and ranged from 3.5×104 to 1.95×107 CFU/g, in which the highest number was found from Ixora sp. Further studies were carried out in the laboratory by spraying phenanthrene on Ixora sp. leaves and then monitoring the amount of deposited phenanthrene and number of phenanthrene-degrading bacteria after incubation. The results showed that the amount of phenanthrene was significantly reduced on leaves containing phenanthrene-degrading bacteria. These were detected along with a rapid increase in the number of bacteria on leaves. The results indicated that many phyllosphere bacteria could utilize phenanthrene to support their growth and thereby reduce the amount of deposited phenanthrene on leaf surfaces. Several phenanthrene-degrading bacteria were later isolated from the leaves and identified with a high 16S rDNA sequence similarity to the genera Pseudomonas, Microbacterium, Rhizobium, and Deinococcus.
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Edited and published by : Applied Microbiology, Molecular and Cellular Biosciences Research Foundation/Center for Academic Publications Japan Produced and listed by : TERRAPUB, Center for Academic Publications Japan/Shobi Printing Co., Ltd. (-Vol.60,No12), Center for Academic Publications Japan/InternationalAcademic Printing Co., Ltd.(-Vol.54,No1)