Article: article from journal or magazin.
Impact of mycelia on the accessibility of fluorene to PAH-degrading bacteria.
Environmental Science and Technology
Mycelia have been recently shown to actively transport polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in water-unsaturated soil over the range of centimeters, thereby efficiently mobilizing hydrophobic PAH beyond their purely diffusive transport in air and water. However, the question if mycelia-based PAH transport has an effect on PAH biodegradation was so far unsolved. To address this, we developed a laboratory model microcosm mimicking air-water interfaces in soil. Chemical analyses demonstrated transport of the PAH fluorene (FLU) by the mycelial oomycete Pythium ultimum that was grown along the air-water interfaces. Furthermore, degradation of mycelia-transported FLU by the bacterium Burkholderia sartisoli RP037-mChe was indicated. Since this organism expresses eGFP in response to a FLU flux to the cell, it was also as a bacterial reporter of FLU bioavailability in the vicinity of mycelia. Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and image analyses revealed a significant increase of eGFP expression in the presence of P. ultimum compared to controls without mycelia or FLU. Hence, we could show that physically separated FLU becomes bioavailable to bacteria after transport by mycelia. Experiments with silicon coated glass fibers capturing mycelia-transported FLU guided us to propose a three-step mechanism of passive uptake, active transport and diffusion-driven release. These experiments were also used to evaluate the contributions of these individual steps to the overall mycelial FLU transport rate.
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