Effects of fertilizer and plant-growth promoting Rhizobacteria on chlorophyll levels and petroleum hydrocarbon degradation during phytoremediation
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The objective of this research was to investigate the efficiency of phytoremediation of petroleum hydrocarbon (PHC) contaminated soils in field remediation sites. Two previously isolated strains of plant-growth promoting bacteria UW3 (Pseudomonas spp.) and UW4 (Pseudomonas putida) were used in field trials in areas supplemented with fertilizer and areas without fertilizer. Chlorophyll values and PHC Fraction 2, 3 and 4 were analyzed to determine relationships in decreasing overall PHC degradation. Overall the application of Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) a positive and measurable effect on the degradation of PHC’s during the field tests. Statistical analysis showed that the addition of fertilizer had a positive and measurable effect on chlorophyll levels. The methodology used was cost effective and practical for use in this field trial. Since sampling data was limited due to time and budgeting constraints, further research is needed to study the effects of chlorophyll within the plant biomass and its relationship to degrading heavy end PHC’s.