Table of Contents
ISRN Soil Science
Volume 2013, Article ID 126391, 6 pages
Research Article

The Influence of Polychlorinated Biphenyls Contamination on Soil Protein Expression

1Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310058, China
2College of Materials and Environmental Engineering, Hangzhou Dianzi University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310018, China

Received 7 October 2013; Accepted 30 October 2013

Academic Editors: J. Artiola and Z. He

Copyright © 2013 Xi Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are typical representative of chlorinated organic pollutants. Given the toxicity of PCBs, there is an urgent need to select an appropriate indicator to monitor their biological effects on soil ecosystems. For this purpose, we investigated the impacts of PCBs on soil protein and the potential of using protein as a biological indicator to assess soil contamination due to PCBs. This study demonstrated that soil protein concentration and expression were negatively affected by PCBs. In addition, significantly ( ) negative correlation was observed between protein concentration and PCBs. Subsequently, protein size distribution separated by SDS-PAGE revealed that with the increase in PCBs concentration there are less large molecular weight proteins and more low molecular weight proteins ( 40 kD). Consequently, soil protein level has the potential to be an indicator of soil contamination, and these low molecular weight proteins have significant meaning for getting insight into the ecological effects of PCBs on the soil environment.