Plants‐associated microflora and the remediation of oil‐contaminated soil
Abstract The use of plants and their rhizospheric microorganisms is a promising emerging technology for remediating contaminated soils. The degradation of total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) in the rhizospheric and nonrhizospheric soil of three domestic plants, namely, alfalfa (Medicaga sativa) broad beans (Vicia faba) and ryegrass (Lolium perenne) was investigated. The experimental data from the studies of plantmicrobe?soil interactions implicated the enhancement of TPH degradation by the rhizospheric microbial community. Although the three domestic plants exhibited normal growth in the presence of ?1.0% TPH, the degradation was more profound in the case of leguminous plants. The TPH degradation in the soil cultivated with broad beans and alfalfa was 36.6 and 35.8%, respectively, compared with 24% degradation in case of ryegrass. Such a high correlation between plant type and TPH degradation rates indicate that selection for enhanced rhizosphere degradation may be accomplished by selecting leguminous plants.