Plant and Soil

, Volume 294, Issue 1–2, pp 103–112 | Cite as

Phenanthrene toxicity and dissipation in rhizosphere of grassland plants (Lolium perenne L. and Trifolium pratense L.) in three spiked soils

  • G. Chiapusio
  • S. Pujol
  • M. L. Toussaint
  • P. M. Badot
  • P. Binet
Regular Article


Rhizodegradation is a technique involving plants that offers interesting potential to enhance biodegradation of persistent organic pollutants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Nevertheless, the behaviour of PAHs in plant rhizosphere, including micro-organisms and the physico-chemical soil properties, still needs to be clarified. The present work proposes to study the toxicity and the dissipation of phenanthrene in three artificially contaminated soils (1 g kg-1 DW). Experiments were carried out after 2 months of soil aging. They consisted in using different systems with two plant species (Ryegrass—Lolium perenne L. var. Prana and red clover—Trifolium pratense L. var. fourragère Caillard), three kinds of soils (a silty-clay-loam soil “La Bouzule”, a coarse sandy-loam soil “Chenevières” and a fine sandy-loam soil “Maconcourt”). Phenanthrene was quantified by HPLC in the beginning (T 0) and the end of the experiments (30 days). Plant biomass, microbial communities including mycorrhizal fungi, Rhizobium and PAH degraders were also recorded. Generally phenanthrene contamination did not affect plant biomass. Only the red clover biomass was enhanced in Chenevières and La Bouzule polluted soils. A stimulation of Rhizobium red clover colonisation was quantified in spiked soils whereas a drastic negative phenanthrene effect on the mycorrhization of ryegrass and red clover was recorded. The number of PAH degraders was stimulated by the presence of phenanthrene in all tested soils. Both in ryegrass and red clover planted soils, the highest phenanthrene dissipation due to the rhizosphere was measured in La Bouzule soils. On the contrary, in non-planted soils, La Bouzule soils had also the lowest pollutant dissipation. Thus, in rhizospheric and non-rhizospheric soils the phenanthrene dissipation was found to depend on soil clay content.


Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi PAH Physico-chemical soil properties Phytoremediation Rhizosphere Rhizobium 



Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons



The authors would like to thank Pr M. Schiavon and Dr R. Cherrier (Laboratoire Sol et Environement, ENSAIA, Nancy, France) for providing with the soil samples used in the experiments and for the physico-chemical data given in Table 1. They also thank MF Jolin and C Chiapusio for their English edits.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Chiapusio
    • 1
  • S. Pujol
    • 1
  • M. L. Toussaint
    • 1
  • P. M. Badot
    • 1
  • P. Binet
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de biologie environnementaleUniversity of Franche-ComtéMontbeliard cedexFrance

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