Enhancing rhizoremediation of petroleum hydrocarbons through bioaugmentation with a plant growth-promoting bacterial consortium

Michael O. Eze*, Volker Thiel, Grant C. Hose, Simon C. George, Rolf Daniel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The slow rate of natural attenuation of organic pollutants, together with unwanted environmental impacts of traditional remediation strategies, has necessitated the exploration of plant-microbe systems for enhanced bioremediation applications. The identification of microorganisms capable of promoting rhizoremediation through both plant growth-promoting and hydrocarbon-degrading processes is crucial to the success and adoption of plant-based remediation techniques. In this study, through successive enrichments of soil samples from a historic oil-contaminated site in Wietze, Germany, we isolated a plant growth-promoting and hydrocarbon-degrading bacterial consortium dominated by Alphaproteobacteria. In microcosm experiments involving Medicago sativa L. and the isolated bacterial consortium, we examined the ability of the consortium to enhance rhizoremediation of petroleum hydrocarbons. The inoculation of M. sativa with the consortium resulted in 66% increase in plant biomass, and achieved a 91% reduction in diesel fuel hydrocarbon concentrations in the soil within 60 days. Metagenome analysis led to the identification of genes and taxa putatively involved in these processes. The majority of the coding DNA sequences associated with plant growth promotion and hydrocarbon degradation in this study were affiliated to Acidocella aminolytica and Acidobacterium capsulatum indicating their potential for biotechnological applications in the rhizoremediation of sites contaminated by petroleum-derived organic pollutants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number133143
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
Early online date2 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • Plant growth promotion
  • Biodegradation
  • Rhizoremediation
  • Diesel fuel
  • Acidocella aminolytica
  • Acidobacterium capsulatum


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