A new framework for approaching precision bioremediation of PAH contaminated soils.


Bioremediation is a sustainable treatment strategy which remains challenging to implement especially in heterogeneous environments such as soil and sediment. Herein, we present a novel precision bioremediation framework that integrates amplicon based metagenomic analysis and chemical profiling. We applied this approach to samples obtained at a site contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Geobacter spp. were identified as biostimulation targets because they were one of the most abundant genera and previously identified to carry relevant degradative genes. Mycobacterium and Sphingomonads spp. were identified as bioaugmentation and genetic bioaugmentation targets, respectively, due to their positive associations with PAHs and their high abundance and species diversity at all sampling locations. Overall, this case study suggests this framework can help identify bacterial targets for precision bioremediation. However, it is imperative that we continue to build our databases as the power of metagenomic based approaches remains limited to microorganisms currently in our databases.