This review summarizes recent knowledge of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) biotransformation by microorganisms and plants. Whereas most research has focused on PAH degradation either by plants or microorganisms separately, this review specifically addresses the interactions of plants with their rhizosphere microbial communities. Indeed, plant roots release exudates that contain various nutritional and signaling molecules that influence bacterial and fungal populations. The complex interactions of these populations play a pivotal role in the biodegradation of high-molecular-weight PAHs and other complex molecules. Emerging integrative approaches, such as (meta-) genomics, (meta-) transcriptomics, (meta-) metabolomics, and (meta-) proteomics studies are discussed, emphasizing how "omics" approaches bring new insight into decipher molecular mechanisms of PAH degradation both at the single species and community levels. Such knowledge address new pictures on how organic molecules are cometabolically degraded in a complex ecosystem and should help in setting up novel decontamination strategies based on the rhizosphere interactions between plants and their microbial associates.
Environmental Science and Technology49, no. 19 (15 September 2015): 11281–11291.