Journal of Soils and Sediments

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 32–41 | Cite as

Influence of organic amendments used for benz[a]anthracene remediation in a farmland soil: pollutant distribution and bacterial changes

  • Qinghe Zhu
  • Yucheng Wu
  • Jun Zeng
  • Taolin Zhang
  • Xiangui LinEmail author
Soils, Sec 1 • Soil Organic Matter Dynamics and Nutrient Cycling • Research Article



Organic amendments are usually carried out at field-scale for efficient remediation of organic pollutants; however, their effects on pollutant distribution and the corresponding microbial mechanisms were rarely discussed. The main aim of this study was to compare the fate of benz[a]anthracene in soil amended by several bioremediation materials and underlying microbial mechanisms.

Materials and methods

In this study, the potential for biotransformation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon in a farmland soil was investigated in microcosms spiked with 14C-benz[a]anthracene as the tracer. A series of organic amendments including lignin, straw, mushroom culture waste, and cow manure, as well as a fungal inoculum of Pleurotus ostreatus, were compared. Illumina sequencing was introduced to reveal the bacterial community in different amendments. The metagenomic function was predicted with the bioinformatics tool of phylogenetic investigation of communities by reconstruction of unobserved states (PICRUSt).

Results and discussion

From the results, the lignin-contained substrates (lignin, straw, mushroom culture waste) showed increase trend in the dissipation of benz[a]anthracene, while Pleurotus ostreatus and cow manure resulted in opposite trends. Specifically, mushroom culture waste mainly increased 14C to the formation of humin-bound residue (39.5 ± 6.8%); lignin amendment significantly (P < 0.05) enhanced the mineralization to CO2 (7.38 ± 0.89%) and humic acid–related nonextractable residue (9.77 ± 0.45%). The influence of straw on the environmental fate of benz[a]anthracene was marginal. High-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA genes demonstrated that mushroom culture waste and lignin significantly changed bacterial community composition, leading to increases in the relative abundance of Pseudomonadaceae, Methylophilaceae, Bacillaceae, and Burkholderiaceae. Moreover, the result of PICRUSt showed that the genes-encoding bacterial cytochrome P450 enzymes were significantly increased in the lignin treatment, suggesting a possible co-metabolism between lignin degradation and PAH mineralization.


These findings suggest lignin-containing organic amendments could be promising soil remediation agents of benz[a]anthracene by stimulating mineralization and sequestration of pollutants.


Bioremediation Bound residue C-14-Benz[a]anthracene Mineralization 


Funding information

We thank Professor Ji Rong and his group for the help with the isotopic analysis. This work was supported the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41371310, 41671266) and the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20181512).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declared that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11368_2019_2368_MOESM1_ESM.docx (6 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 5.96 mb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Soil Environment and Pollution Remediation, Institute of Soil ScienceChinese Academy of SciencesNanjingChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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