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Investigating the Effect of Medicago sativa L. and Trifolium pratense L. Root Exudates on PAHs Bioremediation in an Aged-Contaminated Soil


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are persistent organic compounds of major concern that accumulate in the environment, especially soils, and require remediation. Researches to develop bioremediation and phytoremediation (alternative eco-friendly technologies) are being conducted. First, a bioaccessibility measurement protocol was adapted to a brownfield soil using Tenax® beads in order to compare PAHs bioaccessibility in soil samples. PAHs desorption kinetics were established, described by a site distribution model, and a common extraction time was calculated (48 h). Second, the role of two Fabaceae (Medicago sativa L. or Trifolium pratense L.) root exudates in enhancing PAHs bioaccessibility and biodegradation in the studied soil was evaluated during microcosms experiments (28 °C). The CO2 emissions were significantly higher in presence of T. pratense exudates; the dehydrogenase activities showed improvements of the soil microbial activity in presence of two types of root exudates compared to untreated soil samples; the PAHs residual contents decreased more in untreated samples than in the presence of T. pratense exudates; and M. sativa exudates lowered PAHs bioaccessibility but not residual contents.

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Correspondence to Marie Davin.

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Davin, M., Starren, A., Marit, E. et al. Investigating the Effect of Medicago sativa L. and Trifolium pratense L. Root Exudates on PAHs Bioremediation in an Aged-Contaminated Soil. Water Air Soil Pollut 230, 296 (2019).

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  • PAH
  • Tenax® extraction
  • Bioaccessibility
  • Bioremediation
  • Brownfield soil
  • Plant root exudates