Rhizosphere mediated biodegradation of benzo(A)pyrene by surfactin producing soil bacilli applied through Melia azadirachta rhizosphere
Benzo(a)pyrene is a high-molecular-weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon highly persistent in the environment as a biohazard. The present research emphasizes on rhizodegradation of BaP using bacterial isolates, Bacillus flexus S1I26 (NCBI accession no- KX692271), and Paenibacillus sp. S1I8 (KX602663) with plant Melia azadirachta. The isolates produced surfactin type bio-surfactant with high emulsification index that could solubilize BaP efficiently. The extracted crude bio-surfactants could solubilize BaP up to 24.41%, which was higher than the efficiency of synthetic surfactant SDS (9.7%) but less than other synthetic surfactant, tweens 80 (42.79%). The isolates showed excellent degradation of BaP after 21 days in laboratory conditions where B. flexus S2I26 showed degradation of BaP up to 70.7% and isolates Paenibacillus sp. S1I8 showed degradation rate of 76.76% in a liquid medium. Pot trial experiment showed efficient rhizodegradation of BaP in the soil after 60 days in the rhizosphere of plant Melia azadirachta. After application of S1I8 and S1I26, the rate of degradation was found to be much higher (87.42 and 86.08%) than in bulk (68.22%). Therefore, the results suggest that the bio-surfactant producing isolates could be a promising biodegradation tool for benzo(a)pyrene in soil and may be used for bioremediation of hydrocarbon contaminated sites.