Polar Biology

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 183–188 | Cite as

Aromatic hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria from soil near Scott Base, Antarctica

  • Jackie Aislabie
  • Julia Foght
  • David Saul


Hydrocarbons persist in Antarctic soils when fuel oils such as JP8 jet fuel are spilled. For clean-up of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils in Antarctica, bioremediation has been proposed using hydrocarbon-degrading microbes indigenous to Antarctic soils. A number of alkane-degrading bacteria have been isolated previously from Antarctic soils. In this paper we describe the direct isolation of aromatic hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria from oil-contaminated Antarctic soil. Isolates that grew on JP8 jet fuel were characterised for their ability to degrade aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons and for growth at a range of temperatures. All isolates were gram-negative, oxidase-positive, rod-shaped bacteria. Representative strains were identified using 16S rDNA sequence analysis as either Sphingomonas spp. or Pseudomonas spp. Aromatic-degrading bacteria from Antarctic soils were psychrotolerant and appear similar to those found worldwide.


Hydrocarbon Sphingomonas Aliphatic Hydrocarbon Representative Strain Antarctic Soil 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jackie Aislabie
    • 1
  • Julia Foght
    • 2
  • David Saul
    • 3
  1. 1.Landcare Research, Private Bag 3127, Hamilton, New Zealand e-mail: Tel.: +64-7-8583700, Fax: +64-7-8584964NZ
  2. 2.Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada T6G2E9CA
  3. 3.School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New ZealandNZ

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