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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4491/eer.2017.063
A combined approach to evaluate activity and structure of soil microbial community in long-term heavy metals contaminated soils
Tianqi Wang1, Zhimin Yuan1, and Jun Yao1,2
1School of Energy & Environmental Engineering, and National International Cooperation Base on Environment and Energy, University of Science and Technology Beijing, 30 Xueyuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100083, China
2School of Water Resource and Environmental Engineering, Sino-Hungarian Joint Laboratory of Environmental Science and Health, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), 29 Xueyuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100083, China
Corresponding Author: Jun Yao ,Tel: +86-10-82321958, Email: yaojun@ustb.edu.cn
Received: May 17, 2017;  Accepted: August 23, 2017.
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In the present study, long-term heavy metals (HMs) contaminated soil samples from a well-known Pb/Zn smelting area in the southwest of China were collected, and physicochemical and biological characteristics of these samples were evaluated. Soil samples contained different concentrations of HMs, namely Pb, Zn, Cu, and Cd. Enzyme activity analyses combined with microcalorimetric analysis were used for soil microbial activity evaluation. Results showed that two soil samples, containing almost the highest concentrations of HMs, also shared the greatest microbial activities. Based on correlation coefficient analysis, high microbial activity in heavily HMs contaminated soil might be due to the high contents of soil organic matter and available phosphorus in these samples. High-throughput sequencing technique was used for microbial community structure analysis. High abundance of genera Sphingomonas and Thiobacillus were also observed in these two heavily contaminated soils, suggesting that bacteria belonging to these two genera might be further isolated from these contaminated soils and applied for future studies of HMs remediation. Results of present study would contribute to the evaluation of microbial communities and isolation of microbial resources to remediate HMs pollution.
Keywords: Enzyme activity | Heavy metals | Microbial activity | Microcalorimetric analysis
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