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Pseudomonas Fluorescens HK44
Water Contamination
Soil Contamination
How Bioremediation Works
Types of Bioremediation
Alternatives to Bioremediation
Exxon Valdez

A Polyaromatic Hydrocarbon

     Pseudomonas fluorescens HK44 is a genetically engineered microorganism that is designed to break down polyaromatic hydrocarbons(PAHs).  Polyaromatic hydrocarbons are things like benzene, napthalene, etc.  They are formed through the incomplete burning of organic substances such as coal, oil, gas, tobacco, etc.  Testing has shown that PAHs are harmful to humans and animals.  They affect the skin, body fluids, and immune system and are recognized as skin carcinogens in humans and animals.
     Pseudomonas fluorescens HK44 can also degrade a variety of other contaminants.  It's versatility is another reason that it is used as a bioremediation agent.  It is capable of using many contaminants, both synthetic and naturally occurring, as a source of both carbon and energy. 

Pseudomonas Fluorescens HK44

     Pseudomonas fluorescens HK44 was made by altering another microorganism that is often found at sites that are heavily contaminated by PAHs.  A gene for luminescence was isolated in a luminescent marine bacteria.  This gene was inserted into the microorganism from the contaminated site.  This produced a new microorganism that would not only break down the contaminants but it would  produce light in the presence of PAHs. 
     In order to test this new microorganism, researchers constructed soil vats.  They then contaminated these vats with the PAH napthalene.  They added the pseudomonas fluorescens HK44 and were able to monitor its activity by using fiber optic sensors that were capable of detecting the light produced by the microorganism.  This is an amazing technology that creates a real visual picture of what is going on during the degradation process. 

Glowing Pseudomonas Fluorescens