Isolation, differentiation and biodiversity of ureolytic bacteria of Qatari soil and their potential in microbially induced calcite precipitation (MICP) for soil stabilization
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Biomineralization plays a key role in modifying the geological properties of soil, thereby stabilizing it against wind erosion, especially in areas characterized by harsh weather and harsh soil (calcareous and arid); i.e. Arabic Gulf region. Among soil microorganisms, ureolytic bacteria are capable of modifying soil characteristics and thus, inducing biomineralization. This research investigated the occurrence and diversity of ureolytic bacteria in Qatari soils, specifically to study their acquired potential to adapt to harsh conditions exhibiting ureolytic activity. Soil samples were collected from various locations in Qatar and were used to isolate the indigenous ureolytic bacteria. It was noticed that most of the ureolytic bacteria in Qatari soil belong to the genus Bacillus mainly Bacillus cereus. Identification and differentiation of 18 ureolytic isolates were performed using MALDI-TOF MS techniques while ribotyping (16S rRNA) molecular technique was used mainly for 6 selected strains. This study not only shows the diversity of species of ureolytic bacteria in Qatari soil but also shows the diversity in their protein profiles, which confirms that bacteria have adapted well to the harsh environment. In addition, the strains were evaluated based on a newly modified screening method in this work; i.e. production of arbitrary urease activity (AUA). Thus, the strains showing the highest AUA, exhibited the highest capability to produce urease enzymes induced by urea. Analysis of calcium carbonate precipitation utilizing SEM-EDX showed that the ureolytic bacteria also play a significant role in the precipitation of minerals such as CaCO3, in the presence of urea in soil. Therefore, this research showed a high occurrence of indigenous Bacillus bacteria in Qatari soil that can perform biomineralization and thus can be helpful, if properly stimulated, in enhancing soil stabilization, and for other local applications as well, since they are adapted to these soil and weather conditions.
- Biological & Environmental Sciences [275 items ]