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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Organic Compounds in the Environment

Effect of Petroleum-Containing Wastewater Irrigation on Bacterial Diversities and Enzymatic Activities in a Paddy Soil Irrigation Area


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 34 No. 3, p. 1073-1080
    Received: Nov 17, 2004

    * Corresponding author(s): gxchen@iae.ac.cn
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  1. H. Liab,
  2. Y. Zhanga,
  3. C. G. Zhanga and
  4. G. X. Chen *ac
  1. a Key Laboratory of Terrestrial Ecological Process, Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016, China
    b Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 10039, China
    c Shenyang Key Laboratory of Environmental Engineering, Shenyang University, Shenyang 110044, China


Effects of petroleum contamination on bacterial diversities and enzymatic activities in paddy soils were investigated in the Shenfu irrigation area, the largest area irrigated by oil-containing wastewater for more than 50 yr in northeastern China. Bacterial diversities were determined by conventional colony morphology typing techniques and 16S rDNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Dehydrogenase, hydrogen peroxidase, polyphenol oxidase, urease, and substrate-induced respiration (SIR) were measured to evaluate the effects of petroleum-containing wastewater irrigation on soil biochemical characteristics. Results showed that paddy soil total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) concentration in the irrigation area varied from 277.11 to 5213.37 mg kg−1 dry soil. Soil TPH concentration declined along the gradient of the irrigation channel from up- to downstream. At the current pollution level, the paddy soil TPH concentration was positively correlated with the colony forming units (CFU) of aerobic heterotrophic bacteria (AHB) (r = 0.928, p < 0.001) and the genetic diversity based on DGGE profiles (r = 0.655, p < 0.05). The bacterial diversities in the soils based on colony morphotypes of AHB also increased with TPH concentration (r = 0.598), but not significant statistically (p = 0.052). Analysis of soil enzyme activities indicated a significant positive correlation between soil TPH concentration and activities of dehydrogenases (r = 0.974, p < 0.001), hydrogen peroxidases (r = 0.957, p < 0.001), polyphenol oxidases (r = 0.886, p < 0.001), and SIR (r = 0.916, p < 0.001). On the contrary, the urease activity showed a negative correlation with paddy soil TPH concentration (r = −0.814, p = 0.002), and could be used as a sensitive indicator of petroleum contamination.

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