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Crop Biotech Update

Crude-oil Degrading Bacteria Isolated in Persian Gulf

June 4, 2014

Bioremediation is the strategy to utilize biological activities for elimination of environmental pollutants. Some marine bacteria have ability to biodegrade alkanes and these bacteria are important for marine environment. Bacterial strains isolated from oil polluted sites in Persian Gulf, a marine environment polluted with crude oil during the 1991 Gulf war, are now evaluated regarding their capability to producing biosurfactant and biodegradation of crude oil.

Fifteen crude oil degrading bacteria were collected from oil contaminated areas in the Persian Gulf at Khorramshahr provenance. These bacteria were then screened with two important factors such as growth rate on crude oil and hydrocarbon biodegradation. Three out of the fifteen strains were further studied. The strain PG-Z showed the best crude oil biodegradation and was then selected and characterized. Nucleotides sequencing determined that the PG-Z strain belongs to the Corynebacterium variabile.

This strain was efficient in degrading 82% of the crude-oil after one week in ONR7a medium. The PG-Z strain also had high emulsification activity and biosurfactant production among all isolates. GC–MS analysis shows that C. variabile strain PG-Z was capable of degrading different alkanes in crude oil.

To learn more on this crude oil degrading bacteria, visit: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X1400157X