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Journal of Hazardous Materials
Volume 428, 2022, 128246

Exploring an enhanced rhizospheric phenomenon for pluricontaminated soil remediation: Insights from tripartite metatranscriptome analyses

Maria Tartagliaa, Rosaria Sciarrilloa, Daniela Zuzoloa, Alessia Postiglionea

Department of Science and Technologies, University of Sannio, Benevento, Italy.


Phytoremediation involving the use of microorganisms with tolerant plant species represents a new frontier for on-site remediation of pluricontaminated soils. In this study, the effectiveness of a biotechnological strategy, involving the use of Festuca arundinacea and a pool of microorganisms, was assessed by a mesocosm experiment and an in-depth rhizospheric metatranscriptomic analysis. The chemical profile of mesocosm soil at the end of the experiment (240 days) showed that the decrease of trace elements such as Cd, Hg, Pb, Sn, Tl, V and Zn in the soil was enhanced by our biological combination. Additionally, also the organic pollutants (PAHs and PCBs) were strongly reduced up to 40.5%. About two million transcripts were identified and used for taxonomic and functional profiling. Transcripts read counts, tripartite among plant, bacteria and fungi were identified and quantified to provide an overview of the complex soil community composition. We observed that Actinobacteria and fungi abundance might be involved in remediation success. Functional analyses showed that Trehalose Biosynthesis and the antioxidant activity might have played a key-role in metaorganism effective interactions. The biotechnological approach remodeled the transcriptional profile toward organic pollutant degradation and heavy metal stress response.

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