Growth Profile and Hydrocarbonoclastic Potential of Microorganisms Isolated from Tarballs in the Bight of Bonny, Nigeria


The growth profile and hydrocarbonoclastic potential of microorganisms isolated from tarballs harvested from Ibeno beach in the Bight of Bonny were examined to determine their role in the degradation of the aquatic pollutants (tarballs). The results of the analysis revealed that the mean heterotrophic bacterial count ranged from 3 (±0.01) × 103 to 3.18 (±0.2) × 105 c.f.u./g. The mycological count ranged from 1 (±0.3) × 102 to 2 (±0.4) × 104 c.f.u./g while the mean count of biodegraders on tarball mineral salt medium (TMSM) ranged from 1 (±0.3) × 102 to 2 (±0.4) × 104 c.f.u./g. The ability of the microbial isolates to utilize the tarballs as their sole source of carbon and energy was examined and noticed to vary in growth profiles between the isolates. Chromobacterium violaceum, Cladosporium resinae, Bacillus submarinus, Micrococcus varians, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida marina and Saccharomyces estuari were the most efficient utilizers and biodegraders while Corynebacterium glutamicum, Nocardia marina, and Cryptococcus albidus exhibited moderate growth in TMSM. Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Escherichia coli were opportunistic inhabitants, as they could neither grow nor degrade the balls in TMSM. The results imply that the efficient biodegraders like Chromobacterium violaceum could extensively degrade the balls with time.

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Itah, A.Y., Essien, J.P. Growth Profile and Hydrocarbonoclastic Potential of Microorganisms Isolated from Tarballs in the Bight of Bonny, Nigeria. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 21, 1317–1322 (2005).

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  • Bight of Bonny
  • growth
  • hydrocarbonoclastic potential
  • microorganisms
  • tarballs