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Ward, O., Singh, A. and Hamme, J.V., Accelerated biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbon waste, Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, 30. 260-270. 2003.

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Article

Isolation of Indigenous Hydrocarbon Transforming Bacteria from Oil Contaminated Soils in Libya: Selection for Use as Potential Inocula for Soil Bioremediation

1Industrial and Production Chemistry Department, Libyan Petroleum Institute, Tripoli, Libya

2School of Applied Sciences, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom


International Journal of Environmental Bioremediation & Biodegradation. 2017, Vol. 5 No. 1, 8-17
DOI: 10.12691/ijebb-5-1-2
Copyright © 2017 Science and Education Publishing

Cite this paper:
Althalb Hakima, Singleton Ian. Isolation of Indigenous Hydrocarbon Transforming Bacteria from Oil Contaminated Soils in Libya: Selection for Use as Potential Inocula for Soil Bioremediation. International Journal of Environmental Bioremediation & Biodegradation. 2017; 5(1):8-17. doi: 10.12691/ijebb-5-1-2.

Correspondence to: Althalb  Hakima, Industrial and Production Chemistry Department, Libyan Petroleum Institute, Tripoli, Libya. Email: althalb798@yahoo.com

Abstract

The Libyan oil industry has left a significant legacy of contamination and methods are required to remediate oil-contaminated soils in the area. In this work hydrocarbon utilizing microorganisms were isolated and identified from contaminated soil samples obtained from an oil Refinery (Zawia, Libya). After initial screening of eleven isolates capable of growth on hexadecane, the five most promising hydrocarbon–utilizing bacteria were isolated and tested for biosurfactant production and emulsification activity. They were identified (using 16S rRNA sequence analysis) as Pseudomonas putida, Pseudomonas species, Betaproteobacterium, Actinomyces species, and Bacillus species. Among the five species tested, Pseudomonas putida showed superior performance in terms of growth on hydrocarbons (1.0×1010 CFU (ml)), E24 emulsifying activity (86%) and ability to transform hydrocarbons in pure culture. Interestingly, gas chromatographic analysis of crude oil treated with P. putida showed a decrease in heavy hydrocarbon fractions demonstrating a clear potential for this microbe to be used as a soil inoculant in bioremediation.

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