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Title: Crude oil degradation by a marine actinomycete Rhodococcus sp.
Authors: Sharma, S.L.
Pant, A.
Issue Date: Sep-2001
Publisher: CSIR
Abstract:  An actinomycete isolated from a chronically oil-polluted coastal region near Mumbai (Bombay) Harbour was identified as a strain of Rhodococcus and deposited as Rhodococcus sp. NCIM 5126 in the National Collection of Industrial Microorganisms, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune. The isolate degraded aliphatic and aromatic, but not the asphaltene fractions of three different crude oils. Under optimized conditions: 70 mM nitrogen as urea, 0.1 mM phosphorous as K2HPO4, pH 8.0 at 30oC and 150 rpm on a laboratory shaker for 72 hours, 72%, 60% and 35% of the aliphatic fraction of Bombay High, Assam and Gujarat crude oils respectively were degraded. Although the organism was isolated from seawater and it grew optimally at 0.4M NaCl, tolerating up to 1.7M NaCl, it was also able to grow on distilled water nutrient broth medium, suggesting that it is a facultative halophile. It may therefore be important in the bioremediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils and aquatic systems, both marine and fresh water. The present data also support earlier evidence that chronic contamination along the coast has resulted in a substantial natural flora capable of degrading hydrocarbons. In view of the naturally high tropical temperatures, supplying nitrogen to these ecosystems could result in fast clean-up of such contaminants.
Description: 146-150
ISSN: 0975-1033 (Online); 0379-5136 (Print)
Appears in Collections:IJMS Vol.30(3) [September 2001]

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