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Volume 61, Issue 19


Potential for remediation of water repellent soils by inoculation with wax-degrading bacteria in south-western Australia

Margaret Roper
Published Online: 2006-11-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-006-0189-3


Water repellency resulting from waxy coatings around soil particles causes significant crop and pasture losses. Bioremediation of these soils using inoculation of wax-degrading bacteria was investigated under field conditions. In a small scale experiment without any additional nutrients or soil conditioners, 2 inoculants (Rhodococcus sp. and Roseomonas sp.) out of 7 resulted in significant improvements in water infiltration. A larger scale experiment had compost and fertiliser applied to support inoculants in nutrient-poor sands and lime was added to half the treatments. There were 6 different inoculants and their mixtures. One inoculant (Mycobacterium sp.) significantly reduced water repellency on its own. However, the addition of lime produced a significant “inoculant by lime” interaction, and limed treatments with each of the 5 individual cultures of Rhodococcus spp. and a mixture containing the 5 cultures of Rhodococcus spp. and 1 culture of Mycobacterium sp. all resulted in significant reductions in water repellency when compared with their non-limed counterparts and controls. Lime alone (1 t/ha, 70% neutralising value) produced a small but significant benefit compared with the non-limed control. The results indicate that there is potential to increase soil wettability through increased activity by wax-degrading bacteria.

Keywords: actinomycetes; bacteria; hydrophobicity; MED; repellency; wax degradation

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About the article

Published Online: 2006-11-01

Published in Print: 2006-11-01

Citation Information: Biologia, Volume 61, Issue 19, Pages S358–S362, ISSN (Online) 1336-9563, ISSN (Print) 0006-3088, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-006-0189-3.

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© 2006 Institute of Botany, Slovak Academy of Sciences. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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