Bioprospection and selection of bacteria isolated from environments contaminated with petrochemical residues for application in bioremediation

Vanessa S Cerqueira, Emanuel B Hollenbach, Franciele Maboni, Flávio A O Camargo, Maria do Carmo R Peralba, Fátima M Bento
World Journal of Microbiology & Biotechnology 2012, 28 (3): 1203-22
The use of microorganisms with hydrocarbon degrading capability and biosurfactant producers have emerged as an alternative for sustainable treatment of environmental passives. In this study 45 bacteria were isolated from samples contaminated with petrochemical residues, from which 21 were obtained from Landfarming soil contaminated with oily sludge, 11 were obtained from petrochemical industry effluents and 13 were originated directly from oily sludge. The metabolization capability of different carbon sources, growth capacity and tolerance, biosurfactant production and enzymes detection were determined. A preliminary selection carried out through the analysis of capability for degrading hydrocarbons showed that 22% of the isolates were able to degrade all carbon sources employed. On the other hand, in 36% of the isolates, the degradation of the oily sludge started within 18-48 h. Those isolates were considered as the most efficient ones. Twenty isolates, identified based on partial sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, were pre-selected. These isolates showed ability for growing in a medium containing 1% of oily sludge as the sole carbon source, tolerance in a medium containing up to 30% of oily sludge, ability for biosurfactant production, and expression of enzymes involved in degradation of aliphatic and aromatic compounds. Five bacteria, identified as Stenotrophomonas acidaminiphila BB5, Bacillus megaterium BB6, Bacillus cibi, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Bacillus cereus BS20 were shown to be promising for use as inoculum in bioremediation processes (bioaugmentation) of areas contaminated with petrochemical residues since they can use oily sludge as the sole carbon source and produce biosurfactants.

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