Biodegradation of diesel oil by a novel microbial consortium: comparison between co-inoculation with biosurfactant-producing strain and exogenously added biosurfactants

Inès Mnif, Sami Mnif, Rihab Sahnoun, Sameh Maktouf, Younes Ayedi, Semia Ellouze-Chaabouni, Dhouha Ghribi
Environmental Science and Pollution Research International 2015, 22 (19): 14852-61
Bioremediation, involving the use of microorganisms to detoxify or remove pollutants, is the most interesting strategy for hydrocarbon remediation. In this aim, four hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria were isolated from oil-contaminated soil in Tunisia. They were identified by the 16S rDNA sequence analysis, as Lysinibacillus bronitolerans RI18 (KF964487), Bacillus thuringiensis RI16 (KM111604), Bacillus weihenstephanensis RI12 (KM094930), and Acinetobacter radioresistens RI7 (KJ829530). Moreover, a lipopeptide biosurfactant produced by Bacillus subtilis SPB1, confirmed to increase diesel solubility, was tested to increase diesel biodegradation along with co-inoculation with two biosurfactant-producing strains. Culture studies revealed the enhancement of diesel biodegradation by the selected consortium with the addition of SPB1 lipopeptide and in the cases of co-inoculation by biosurfactant-producing strain. In fact, an improvement of about 38.42 and 49.65 % of diesel degradation was registered in the presence of 0.1 % lipopeptide biosurfactant and when culturing B. subtilis SPB1 strain with the isolated consortium, respectively. Furthermore, the best improvement, evaluated to about 55.4 %, was recorded when using the consortium cultured with B. subtilis SPB1 and A. radioresistens RI7 strains. Gas chromatography analyses were correlated with the gravimetric evaluation of the residual hydrocarbons. Results suggested the potential applicability of the selected consortium along with the ex situ- and in situ-added biosurfactant for the effective bioremediation of diesel-contaminated water and soil.

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