A MALDI-TOF study of bio-remediation in highly weathered oil contaminated soils
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We have shown that Bacillus cereus is dominating the bacterial population at three polluted oil-industry sites where weather and soil conditions are extreme in terms of temperature, UV-radiation and salinity. A minor part of the bacterial population includes a strain of Bacillus sonorensis and Pseudomonas stuztzeri. Six bacterial isolates were characterized by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. The identity of Bacillus sonorensis was also confirmed by ribotyping using molecular techniques. The extreme conditions result in the limited bacterial diversity at the present sites. Our results indicate that the bacteria have sustained because of their ability to degrade low, medium and high molecular weight hydrocarbons in diesel which were removed by up to 89%, 61% and 92%, respectively by Bacillus sonorensis. Bacillus cereus isolates were less effective, but all showed high activity on high molecular weight hydrocarbons. The study is based on growth tolerance to high diesel toxicity and removal of the three ranges of hydrocarbons. Each isolate showed higher hydrocarbon removal efficiencies when applied separately in biopiles in fresh soil compared to weathered soil. Almost 88% and 25% of the diesel range organics and 23% and 83% of the polyaromatic hydrocarbons were removed from the weathered soil versus the clean, respectively, by Bacillus sonorensis. Such efficiencies were obtained with growth stimulation by addition of nitrogen and phosphorus sources and with Tween-80 as a surfactant. The results are key in an application context, since it is clear that overcoming the recalcitrance of weathered hydrocarbon contaminations to biodegradation is a central issue in for example the Arabian Gulf. Moreover the results emphasize that bioaugmentation/biostimulation with bacteria originally adapted to the site conditions is the way forward since endogenous or exogenous hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria generally are not appropriate for applications that involve weathered hydrocarbon spills.
- Biological & Environmental Sciences [296 items ]