Wednesday, 8 October 2008
George R. Brown Convention Center, Exhibit Hall E
The use, production and disposal of military munitions explosives TNT (2,4.6-trinitrotoluene) and RDX (1,3,5-hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitrotriazine) have resulted in the contamination of soil and groundwater at many active and inactive munitions sites, which is identified as a threat to human and ecosystem. The results from our previous study have demonstrated a significantly enhanced rhizodegradtion of TNT and RDX by many native warm-seasoned grass species. To further explore the potential synergistic effects of explosive-degrading bacteria on the rhizodegradation, several widely-studied RDX and TNT degrading bacteria were inoculated into the rhzoishpheres of the identified plant species. This study aims to i) Identify plant species stimulating expression of degradation functional genes of inoculated degraders and sustaining the degradation activities; ii) develop DNA-based molecular techniques to quantify the genes expression and population of these munitions explosives degraders in the rhizsphere. Results would contribute significantly toward achieving the goal to implement a cost-effective and environmental-safe phytoremediation plan for cleaning up explosive residues at contaminated military sites.