Biodegradation of long chain alkanes in halophilic conditions by Alcanivorax sp. strain Est-02 isolated from saline soil
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In this study, through a multistep enrichment and isolation procedure, a halophilic bacterial strain was isolated from unpolluted saline soil, which was able to effectively and preferentially degrade long chain alkanes (especially tetracosane and octacosane). The strain was identified by 16S rRNA gene sequence as an Alcanivorax sp. The growth of strain Est-02 was optimized at the presence of tetracosane in different NaCl concentrations, temperatures, and pH. The consumption of different heavy alkanes was also investigated. Optimal culture conditions of the strain were determined to be as follows: 10% NaCl, temperature 25–35 °C and pH 7. Alcanivorax sp. strain Est-02 was able to use a wide range of aliphatic substrates ranging from C14 to C28 with clear tendency to utilize heavy chain hydrocarbons of C24 and C28. During growth on a mixture of alkanes (C14–C28), the strain consumed 60% and 65% of tetracosane and octacosane, respectively, while only about 40% of the lower chain alkanes were degraded. This unique ability of the strain Est-02 in efficient and selective biodegradation of long chain hydrocarbons could be further exploited for remediation of wax and heavy oil contaminated soils or upgrading of heavy crude oils. Comparison of the sequence of alkane hydroxylase gene (alkB) of strain Est-02 with previously reported sequences for Alcanivorax spp. and other hydrocarbon degraders, showed a remarkable phylogenetic distance between the sequence alkB of Est-02 and other alkane-degrading bacteria.
KeywordsBioremediation Hydrocarbon biodegradation Tetracosane Halophilic bacteria Alcanivorax
This work was supported by a general graduate student fund from Tehran University. The authors are grateful to Dr. Hojatollah Kazemi and Ms Sima Ghadernia for their assistance in gas chromatography analysis. We also would like to thank Ms Ghanimi fard for reading and editing the English text.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this paper.
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