SoilSoc Research

Research projects Thesis abstracts

Rhizoremediation of oil polluted soil

Institute / Organisation / Unit: Department of Applied Chemistry and Microbiology, University of Helsinki

Research director / Project Leader: Kristina Lindström, Leena Suominen

Other researchers: Kaisa Wallenius, Anu Mikkonen, Kaisa Lappi

Keywords: bioremediation, microbiology, molecular methods, oil, legume

Methods / Expertise: molecular fingerprinting methods (strain and community), greenhouse and field experiments, oil analytics from soil, qPCR, LH-PCR, MPN, BioNumerics

Partners: Neste Oil, Helinä Hartikainen, Maarit Niemi, Hannu Rita

Discription: The practical aim of the bioremediation project is to develop a remediation system for gasoline polluted sites by using the legume rhizosphere. The positive influence of plant roots and nitrogen fixation increases the overall amount and activity of soil microorganisms in the rhizosphere. On the other hand, the oil-degrading bacteria, whose activity results in a decrease in the contamination level, introduce the plant-growth-promoting influence into the system. Thus, the interacting organisms improve in a step-by-step process the bioremediation of the site. We have evaluated the use of Galega orientalis rhizosphere for this purpose. To obtain basic knowledge of the microbial processes during the cleanup we have applied molecular tools to monitor bacterial populations in soil and to detect the genes that code for oil degradation.

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