1 Department of Agroecology - Crop Health, Department of Agroecology, Science and Technology, Aarhus University2 Poznan University of Technology3 Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań4 Department of Agroecology - Crop Health, Department of Agroecology, Science and Technology, Aarhus University
Rhizoremediation is a complex type of green clean-up technology that involves both plants and the rhizosphere-associated microorganisms to decompose hazardous compounds. The success of the strategy strongly depends on plant tolerance towards the pollutant, as well as plant's interactions with the rhizospheric microbes. The microorganisms may be stimulated by the secreted root exudates, which results in an increased breakdown of contaminants in the rhizosphere. The main goal of this study was to establish a potential rhizoremediation combination for a diesel-polluted site. Inoculation of plant roots or seeds with indigenous rhizospheric populations is a common approach in the rhizoremediation. However, we introduced hydrocarbon-degrading consortia (M10, R3, and K52) that were previously isolated from crude oil-contaminated soil instead of indigenous microbes. Bioaugmentation with these petroleum degraders was applied to screen four high biomass crop species (Indian mustard, alfalfa, high erucic acid rapeseed, HEAR, and low erucic acid rapeseed, LEAR) for their tolerance towards diesel oil. At no pollution, a promoting effect of M10 bacteria could be observed on germination and root elongation of all plant species. Moreover, M10 consortiums increased the germination index at 6,000 mg diesel oil per kilogram dry soil in the case of Indian mustard, alfalfa, and HEAR. The latter species was found to increment its dry weight upon bioaugmentation with M10 bacteria and all diesel oil treatments (6,000 and 24,000 mg diesel oil per kilogram dry soil). The initial results indicate HEAR and the M10 bacterial consortium as a promising plant–microbe tandem for a long-term rhizoremediation process.