Enhanced biodegradation of phthalate acid esters in marine sediments by benthic diatom Cylindrotheca closterium.

The Science of the total environment

PubMedID: 25481253

Li Y, Gao J, Meng F, Chi J. Enhanced biodegradation of phthalate acid esters in marine sediments by benthic diatom Cylindrotheca closterium. Sci Total Environ. 2014;508C251-257.
Cylindrotheca closterium, a marine benthic diatom, was inoculated on the surface of marine sediments spiked with diethyl phthalate (DEP) and dibutyl phthalate (DBP) to investigate the effects of benthic microalgae on the degradation of the contaminants. The elimination of DEP and DBP from unsterilized sediments with C. closterium (treatment BA) was compared with that from unsterilized sediments without C. closterium (treatment B), sterilized sediments with C. closterium (treatment A) and sterilized sediments without C. closterium (treatment N). The results showed that during the 8-day experiment, inoculation with C. closterium increased the removal rates of the contaminants from the sediments, and more significantly from the surface layer (top 0.5cm) of sediments than from the bottom layer of sediments. In the surface sediments, the first-order elimination rate constants (k) of DEP and DBP were in the order of treatment BA (2.098 and 0.309d(-1))>treatment B (0.460 and 0.256d(-1))>treatment A (0.216 and 0.039d(-1))>treatment N (nil (no data)), indicating that microbial degradation played a major role in the removal of the contaminants from the sediments. A similar trend was also observed in bottom sediments (0.444 and 0.165d(-1) in treatment BA, 0.329 and 0.194d(-1) in treatment B, 0.129d(-1) and nil in treatment A), but the difference of k values between treatments BA and B was relatively small. The positive effect of C. closterium on total phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) content in sediments was observed, which was mainly related to the increase of biomass of aerobic bacteria as a result of improved sediment oxygenation and release of exudates (e.g. exopolysaccharides) by C. closterium. Moreover, Pearson correlation analysis showed a significant positive correlation between the elimination ratios of the contaminants and abundance of total aerobic bacterial PLFAs, suggesting that aerobic bacteria played a key role in C. closterium-promoted degradation of the contaminants in sediments.