Author(s): John RC, Okpokwasili GC
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Abstract The crude oil degradability and plasmid profile of autotrophic nitrifying bacteria, Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter species, isolated from mangrove sediment in the Niger Delta of Nigeria were studied. The effects of temperature, pH and optical density on the utilization of different carbon sources by the bacteria were also investigated. Results showed that nitrifying bacteria could utilize kerosene, diesel oil, jet fuel and engine oil as carbon sources. None utilized hexane and xylene but moderate growth was observed in benzene, phenol and toluene. However, their ability to utilized crude oil varied both in rates of utilization and in growth profiles. Mixed culture of the isolates degrades 52 \% of crude oil introduced into the medium followed by Nitrosomonas sp. with 40 \% degradation. The least was Nitrobacter sp. with 20 \% degradation. The ability of the autotrophs to degrade crude oil was found to be plasmid-mediated through curing experiment and electrophoresis. The size of the plasmid involved was estimated to be 23 kb. The high crude oil utilization of the mixed culture implies that nitrifying bacteria isolated from contaminated ecosystem are excellent crude oil degraders and can be harnessed for bioremediation purposes.
This article was published in Bull Environ Contam Toxicol
and referenced in Journal of Petroleum & Environmental Biotechnology