Biodegradation of trinitrotoluene (TNT) by indigenous microorganisms from TNT-contaminated soil, and their application in TNT bioremediation

Chih Ming Kao, Bo Hsin Lin, Ssu Ching Chen, Shih Feng Wei, Chien Cheng Chen, Chao Ling Yao, Chih Ching Chien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Soil and groundwater contaminated by munitions compounds is a crucial issue in environmental protection. Trinitrotoluene (TNT) is highly toxic and carcinogenic; therefore, the control and remediation of TNT contamination is a critical environmental issue. In this study, the authors characterized the indigenous microbial isolates from a TNT-contaminated site and evaluated their activity in TNT biodegradation. The bacteria Achromobacter sp. BC09 and Citrobacter sp. YC4 isolated from TNT-contaminated soil by enrichment culture with TNT as the sole carbon and nitrogen source (strain BC09) and as the sole nitrogen but not carbon source (strain YC4) were studied for their use in TNT bioremediation. The efficacy of degradation of TNT by indigenous microorganisms in contaminated soil without any modification was insufficient in the laboratory-scale pilot experiments. The addition of strains BC09 and YC4 to the contaminated soil did not significantly accelerate the degradation rate. However, the addition of an additional carbon source (e.g., 0.25% sucrose) could significantly increase the bioremediation efficiency (ca. decrease of 200 ppm for 10 days). Overall, the results suggested that biostimulation was more efficient as compared with bioaugmentation. Nevertheless, the combination of biostimulation and bioaugmentation using these indigenous isolates is still a feasible approach for the development of bioremediation of TNT pollution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-173
Number of pages9
JournalBioremediation Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2 Jul 2016


  • Achromobacter
  • biodegradation
  • bioremediation
  • Citrobacter
  • trinitrotoluene


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