Rhizoremediation of Diesel-Contaminated Soil with Two Rapeseed Varieties and Petroleum degraders Reveals Different Responses of the Plant Defense Mechanisms
Plant-assisted bioremediation (rhizoremediation) stands out as a potential tool to inactivate or completely remove xenobiotics from the polluted environment. Therefore, it is of key importance to find an adequate combination of plant species and microorganisms that together enhance the clean-up process. To understand the response of plants upon bioaugmentation, the antioxidative and detoxification system was analyzed in high and low erucic acid rapeseed varieties (HEAR and LEAR, respectively), after 8 weeks of their treatment with petroleum degraders and 6000 mg diesel oil/kg dry soil. The oxidative stress was enhanced in LEAR being exposed to sole diesel oil, in comparison with HEAR. However, when LEAR plants were additionally inoculated with bacteria, suppression of total catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) activity were observed. Interestingly, glutathione transferase (GST) activity was found in these plants at a much higher level than in HEAR, which correlated with a more efficient diesel removal performed by LEAR in the polluted soil and upon bioaugmentation. A distinct profile of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) was detected in leaves of these plants. Neither LEAR nor HEAR experienced any changes in the photosynthetic capacity upon diesel pollution and presence of petroleum degraders, which supports the usefulness of rhizoremediation with rapeseed.