Effect of partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM) on the bacterial communities of wetland rhizosphere soils and their efficiency in HPAM and alkane degradation

Raeid M.M. Abed*, Marwan Al-Fori, Mahmood Al-Hinai, Jamal Al-Sabahi, Huda Al-Battashi, Stephane Prigent, Tom Headley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effect of partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM) on structure and function of rhizosphere soil bacterial communities in constructed wetlands has been largely underinvestigated. In this study, we compare the effect of 250, 500, and 1000 mg/L of HPAM on bacterial community composition of Phragmites australis associated rhizosphere soils in an experimental wetland using MiSeq amplicon sequencing. Rhizosphere soils from the HPAM-free and the 500-mg/L-exposed treatments were used for laboratory experiments to further investigate the effect of HPAM on the soil’s degradation and respiration activities. Soils treated with HPAM showed differences in bacterial communities with the dominance of Proteobacteria and the enrichment of potential hydrocarbon and HPAM-degrading bacteria. CO2 generation was higher in the HPAM-free soils than in the HPAM pre-exposed soil, with a noticeable increase in both soils when oil was added. The addition of HPAM at different concentrations had a more pronounced effect on CO2 evolution in the HPAM-pre-exposed soil. Soils were able to degrade between 37 ± 18.0 and 66 ± 6.7% of C10 to C30 alkanes after 28 days, except in the case of HPAM-pre-exposed soil treated with 500 mg/L where degradation reached 92 ± 4.3%. Both soils reduced HPAM concentration by 60 ± 15% of the initial amount in the 500 mg/L treatment, but by only ≤ 21 ± 7% in the 250-mg/L and 1000-mg/L treatments. In conclusion, the rhizosphere soils demonstrated the ability to adapt and retain their ability to degrade hydrocarbon in the presence of HPAM. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Biodegradation
  • HPAM
  • Produced water
  • Respiration
  • Rhizosphere
  • Surface flow wetland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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