Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 77, Issue 2, pp 437–445 | Cite as

Use of plate-wash samples to monitor the fates of culturable bacteria in mercury- and trichloroethylene-contaminated soils

  • Nobuaki Mera
  • Kazuhiro IwasakiEmail author
Environmental Biotechnology


With the ultimate aim of developing bioremediation technology that use the optimum bacterial community for each pollutant, we performed polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and phylogenetic analysis and identified communities of culturable bacteria in HgCl2- and trichloroethylene (TCE)-contaminated soil microcosms. PCR-DGGE band patterns were similar at 0 and 1 ppm HgCl2, but changes in specific bands occurred at 10 ppm HgCl2. Band patterns appearing at 10 and 100 ppm TCE were very different from those at 0 ppm. Phylogenetic analysis showed four bacterial groups in the HgCl2-contaminatied cultures: Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes. Most high-density bands, decreased-density bands, and common bands were classified into the phyla Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Firmicutes, respectively; the effects of HgCl2 on culturable bacteria appeared to differ among phyla. Duganella violaceinigra [98.4% similarity to DNA Data Bank of Japan (DDBJ) strain], Lysobacter koreensis (98.2%), and Bacillus panaciterrae (98.6%) were identified as bacteria specific to HgCl2-contaminated soils. Bacteria specific to TCE-contaminated soils were distributed into three phyla (Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, and Actinobacteria), but there was no clear relationship between phylum and TCE effects on culturable bacteria. Paenibacillus kobensis (97.3%), Paenibacillus curdlanolyticus (96.3%), Paenibacillus wynnii (99.8%), and Sphingomonas herbicidovorans (99.4%) were identified as bacteria specific to TCE-contaminated soils. These bacteria may be involved in pollutant degradation.


Culturable bacteria Plate wash Mercury Trichloroethylene Phylogenetic analysis 



This work was supported in part by the Global Environment Research Fund.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute for Environmental StudiesTsukubaJapan

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