Biodegradation of High Concentrations of Aliphatic Hydrocarbons in Soil from a Petroleum Refinery: Implications for Applicability of New Actinobacterial Strains

At present, there is great demand for new resistant and metabolically active strains of biodegrading bacteria capable of degrading high concentrations of petroleum pollutants. In this study, we undertook a series of pot-based biodegradation experiments on soil from a petroleum refinery lagoon heavily polluted with aliphatic hydrocarbons (81.6 ± 2.5 g·kg−1 dry weight) and metals. Periodical bioaugmentation with either a mixture of isolated degraders identified as Bacillus sp. and Ochrobactrum sp. or biostimulation with nutrient medium, singly or in combination, did not produce any significant decrease in hydrocarbons, even after 455 days. Inoculation with Gordonia rubripertincta CWB2 and Rhodococcus erythropolis S43 in iron-limited media, however, resulted in a significant decrease in hydrocarbons 45 days after bioaugmentation. These actinobacterial strains, therefore, show significant potential for bioremediation of such highly polluted soils.
petroleum hydrocarbons decontamination, Bacillus, Ochrobactrum, Gordonia, Rhodococcus, siderophores