Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, 228:58 | Cite as

Impact of Inorganic Nutrients and Heavy Metals Present as Co-contaminants on Biodegradation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons by Phormidium ambiguum Strain TISTR 8296

  • Witaya Pimda
  • Sumontip BunnagEmail author


The purpose of this research was to evaluate the biodegradation extent of petroleum hydrocarbons by Phormidium ambiguum strain TISTR 8296 in the presence of inorganic nutrients and heavy metals as co-contaminants. In this context, waste motor oil served as a source of petroleum hydrocarbons. Strain TISTR 8296 grew actively with waste motor oil at 0.5–2.0% (v/v) concentrations and also exhibited good biodegradation potential at this concentration range. Meanwhile, its growth and biodegradation capacity fell down with increasing oil concentration to 3.0 and 4.0%. Strain TISTR 8296 adapted quickly to pH changes, showing good growth ability and biodegradation capability at a pH range of 4.0–9.0 with an acidic pH of 4.0 and 5.0 appearing to decelerate its biodegradation efficiency. The addition of PO4 3− and NO3 exerted a strong stimulatory effect on growth and biodegradation efficiency, while a slight promoting effect was observed for NO2 . By contrast, amendment of NH4 + as well as heavy metals caused a substantial inhibitory effect on growth and biodegradation efficiency with NH4 + and Mn(II) appearing to show a weak suppressing effect. GC-MS analyses indicated that strain TISTR 8296 could transform and degrade both aliphatic and aromatic compounds.


Cyanobacteria GC-MS Heavy metals Motor oil Petroleum hydrocarbons 



This work was financially supported by the Science Achievement Scholarship of Thailand (SAST). Cooperation and scientific aids provided by the Research Instrument Center of Khon Kaen University and the Department of Biology of the Faculty of Science of Khon Kaen University are sincerely acknowledged.

Authors’ Contributions

W. Pimda designed the experiments, performed lab work, analyzed the data, and drafted the manuscript. S. Bunnag helped to design the experiments and assisted in proofreading the manuscript. Both authors have agreed to the contents of the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceKhon Kaen UniversityKhon KaenThailand

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