Isolation and characterization of toluene metabolizing bacteria from the rhizospheres of indoor plants
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In this study, two species of indoor foliage plants were primed with toluene exposure for two months, followed by isolation and identification of the rhizosphere bacteria that were demonstrated to metabolize toluene. A total of forty-two bacterial isolates were obtained and found similar to eight known bacteria strains, The bacterial isolates were positive for toluene monooxygenase gene, confirming their potential to metabolize toluene. Experiments with 14C-labeled toluene as the sole carbon source indicated that isolate type did not significantly affect the percent toluene mineralized, The toluene mineralization rate constant (b) was, however, significantly affected by both the isolate type and substrate concentration. Isolate 23 appears to be superior with regard to the speed with which toluene was degraded. The results showed in this study corroborates previous speculation that the rhizosphere microbial community contributes to the phytoremediation potential of indoor foliage plants.