Optimization of Crude Oil Biodegradation by Brevibacterium sp. Isolated from the Native Sponges of the Persian Gulf

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Biological Science and Technology, Faculty of Nano and Bio Science and Technology, Persian Gulf University, Bushehr, Iran

2 Department of Environmental Science, Persian Gulf Research Institute, Persian Gulf University, Bushehr, Iran


Background: The native sponges of Persian Gulf are unique species facing difficult climate conditions and environmental contamination. It is necessary to investigate these native sponges because global warming most probably destroyed many of these creatures. Therefore, the study of the microorganisms associated with sponges will introduce new bacterial strains with various industrial and environmental applications and, in this way, a part of the Persian Gulf biodiversity will be preserved for posterity. Objective: The aim of this study was the isolation and molecular identification of bacteria associated with the ability of biodegrading crude oil from the native sponges of the Persian Gulf. Also, optimization of crude oil biodegradation was done for one of the most efficient bacterial strains. Materials and Methods: Isolated species were compared in terms of E24 index and growth rate in a culture medium containing at least 2% of oil as the sole carbon source. Molecular identification was done for five bacterial strains. Using the Taguchi experimental design, the effects of 4 factors, namely, carbon source auxiliary, organic and inorganic nitrogen sources, salinity and pH, were evaluated at 3 levels. GC-Mass analysis was performed on the remaining oil in the culture medium.. Results: In the initial screening of two native species of sponges, 22 bacterial strains were isolated which were capable of decomposing oil. Five bacterial strains showed the best results and were recorded in NCBI with access numbers KY283126, KY283128, KY285290, KY285289, and KY285288. Brevibacterium sp. (KY283128) showed the highest level of oil degradation (about 97%) and growth rate. The results showed that the optimal oil degradation occurs in the absence of carbon source auxiliary, at 0.5% of salinity, with NH4 Cl as the nitrogen source and at a pH of 6.5. Conclusions: This bacterial strain can be used for biodegradation in oil-contaminated areas and oil refineries. By isolating the oil degrading gene in this bacterial strain and cloning it in other bacterial strains, the efficiency of eliminating oil contamination can be increased.


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