The effects of rhamnolipids produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC9027 on the cell surface hydrophobicity (CSH) and the biodegradation of phenanthrene by two thermophilic bacteria, Bacillus subtilis BUM and P. aeruginosa P-CG3, and mixed inoculation of these two strains were investigated. Rhamnolipids significantly reduced the CSH of the hydrophobic BUM and resulted in a noticeable lag period in the biodegradation. However, they significantly increased the CSH and enhanced the biodegradation for the hydrophilic P-CG3. In the absence of rhamnolipids, a mixed inoculation of BUM and P-CG3 removed 82.2% of phenanthrene within 30. days and the major contributor of the biodegradation was BUM (rapid degrader) while the growth of P-CG3 (slow degrader) was suppressed. Addition of rhamnolipids promoted the surfactant-mediated-uptake of phenanthrene by P-CG3 but inhibited the uptake through direct contact by BUM. This resulted in the domination of P-CG3 during the initial stage of biodegradation and enhanced the biodegradation to 92.7%.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Waste Management and Disposal