Volume 30 (2015) Issue 1 Pages 70-75
Eighty-two out of the 100 hydrocarbonoclastic bacterial species that have been already isolated from oil-contaminated Kuwaiti sites, characterized by 16S rRNA nucleotide sequencing, and preserved in our private culture collection, grew successfully in a mineral medium free of any nitrogenous compounds with oil vapor as the sole carbon source. Fifteen out of these 82 species were selected for further study based on the predominance of most of the isolates in their specific sites. All of these species tested positive for nitrogenase using the acetylene reduction reaction. They belonged to the genera Agrobacterium, Sphingomonas, and Pseudomonas from oily desert soil and Nesiotobacter, Nitratireductor, Acinetobacter, Alcanivorax, Arthrobacter, Marinobacter, Pseudoalteromonas, Vibrio, Diatzia, Mycobacterium, and Microbacterium from the Arabian/Persian Gulf water body. A PCR-DGGE-based sequencing analysis of nifH genes revealed the common occurrence of the corresponding genes among all the strains tested. The tested species also grew well and consumed crude oil effectively in NaNO3 -containing medium with and without nitrogen gas in the top space. On the other hand, these bacteria only grew and consumed crude oil in the NaNO3 -free medium when the top space gas contained nitrogen. We concluded that most hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria are diazotrophic, which allows for their wide distribution in the total environment. Therefore, these bacteria are useful for the cost-effective, environmentally friendly bioremediation of hydrocarbon contaminants.