Microbial Degradation of Gasoline in Soil: Comparison by Soil Type
|Turner DA1, Pichtel J2, Rodenas Y3,2, McKillip J3 and Goodpaster JV1*
|1Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Forensic and Investigative Sciences Program, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Indianapolis, USA
|2Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, Ball State University, Muncie, USA
|3Department of Biology, Ball State University, Muncie, USA
|Corresponding Author :
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Forensic and Investigative Sciences Program
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Indianapolis, USA
|Received December 20, 2013; Accepted February 04, 2014; Published February 10, 2014
|Citation: Turner DA, Pichtel J, Rodenas Y, McKillip J, Goodpaster JV (2014) Microbial Degradation of Gasoline in Soil: Comparison by Soil Type. J Bioremed Biodeg 5:216. doi:10.4172/2155-6199.1000216
|Copyright: © 2014 Turner DA, et al. This is an open-a ccess article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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During the investigation of a suspicious fire, debris is often collected from the scene and analyzed for residues of ignitable liquids (e.g., gasoline). In cases where the debris is contaminated with soil, it is known that heterotrophic soil microorganisms can alter the chemical composition of the ignitable liquid residue over time. The effects of soil type and season upon this phenomenon are not known, however. Hence, soil collected from locations under three different uses (residential, agricultural, brownfield) were spiked with gasoline and microbial degradation was monitored for 30 days. The soils were also chemically and biologically characterized. Gas chromatographic profiles showed that residential soil was most active and brownfield soil least active for the microbial degradation of gasoline. The brownfield soil possessed relatively high (497 mg/kg) concentrations of Pb, which may have affected bacterial activity. Predominant viable bacterial populations enumerated using real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) included members of the Alcaligenes, Acinetobacter, Arthrobacter, Bacillus, Flavobacterium, and Pseudomonas genera. Principal Components Analysis (PCA) was found effective in elucidating trends of microbial degradation among the different soil types and seasons. The results of this study demonstrate the necessity of prompt analysis of forensic evidence for proper identification of possible ignitable liquids.