Characterization of Hydrocarbon-Degrading Bacteria in Constructed Wetland Microcosms Used to Treat Crude Oil Polluted Water

  • Amer Jamal Hashmat
  • Muhammad AfzalEmail author
  • Kaneez Fatima
  • Muhammad Anwar-ul-Haq
  • Qaiser Mahmood Khan
  • Carlos A. Arias
  • Hans Brix


Ten plant species were grown in constructed wetlands (CWs) to remediate water containing 2% (w/v) crude oil. The plant species with better growth and biomass production were Typha latifolia and Cyperus laevigatus, and they were significantly correlated (R2 = 0.91) with hydrocarbon degradation. From T. latifolia and C. laevigatus, 33 hydrocarbon-degrading bacterial strains were isolated from the rhizosphere, and root and shoot interiors. More diversified bacteria were found in the rhizosphere and endosphere of C. laevigatus than those of T. latifolia. The predominant cultural hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria were shown to belong to the genera Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter and Bacillus. In addition to genes involved in hydrocarbon degradation, most of the bacteria displayed multiple plant growth promoting (PGP) activities. This study suggests the importance of selecting suitable bacterial strains with hydrocarbon degradation and PGP activities for improving the efficacy of CWs used in remediating water contaminated with crude oil.


Hydrocarbons Phytoremediation Bacterial diversity Constructed wetlands 



This research was supported by the Higher Education Commission, Pakistan (Grant No. 20-3854/R&D/HEC/14).

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 5346 KB)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS)IslamabadPakistan
  2. 2.Soil and Environmental Biotechnology DivisionNational Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (NIBGE)FaisalabadPakistan
  3. 3.Department of BioscienceAarhus University Centre for Water Technology (WATEC), Aarhus UniversityÅrhus CDenmark

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