Author(s): Margesin R, Gander S, Zacke G, Gounot AM, Schinner F
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Abstract The potential of 89 culturable cold-adapted isolates from uncontaminated habitats, including 61 bacterial and 28 yeast strains, to utilize representative fractions of petroleum hydrocarbons (n-alkanes, monoaromatic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) for growth and to produce various enzymes at 10 degrees C was investigated. The efficiency of bacterial and yeast strains was compared. The growth temperature range of the yeast strains was significantly smaller than that of the bacterial strains. Sixty percent of the yeasts but only 8\% of the bacteria could be classified as true psychrophiles, showing no growth above 20 degrees C. A high percentage (89\%) of the yeast strains showed lipase activity. More than one-third of the 61 bacterial strains produced amylase, beta-lactamase, beta-galactosidase or lipase; more than two-thirds were protease producers. Only 6\% of the bacterial strains but 79\% of the yeast strains utilized n-hexadecane for growth; 13\% of the bacterial strains and 21-32\% of the yeast strains utilized phenol, phenanthrene or anthracene for growth. Only four yeast strains but none of the bacterial strains could grow with all hydrocarbons tested. The biodegradation of phenol was investigated in fed-batch cultures at 10 degrees C. Three yeast strains degraded phenol concentrations as high as 10 mM (one strain) or 12.5 mM (two strains). Of eight bacterial strains, two strains degraded up to 10 mM phenol. The optimum temperature for phenol degradation was 20 degrees C for all eight bacterial strains and for two yeast strains. Biodegradation by five yeast strains was optimal at 10 degrees C and faster at 1 degrees C than at 20 degrees C. All phenol-degrading strains produced catechol 1,2 dioxygenase activity.
This article was published in Extremophiles
and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation