Influence of a Dispersant on the Types and Growth of Microbial Hydrocarbon Degraders in a Crude Oil-contaminated Medium

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Sogbanmu, Temitope O.
Doherty, Victoria F.
Buraimoh, Olanike M.
Arokoyu, Olawunmi F.
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Journal of Health & Pollution
Background: Dispersants are first-order response strategies for oil spill cleanup in an aquatic environment. However, their effects on the biodegradation capacity of indigenous hydrocarbon-degrading microorganisms are little known. Objectives: The influence of a dispersant (DS/TT/066) on the type(s) and growth of hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria (HDB) and hydrocarbon-degrading fungi (HDF) in a crude oil-contaminated medium (water) was investigated in the laboratory for 28 days. Methods: The experiment was set up in duplicates with the first set containing Forcados light crude oil (FLCO) alone in water while the other was a mixture of FLCO and DS/TT/066 (ratio 9:1 v/v). Identification and enumeration of HDB and HDF were conducted according to standard methods. Total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) in the test media was analyzed using a gas chromatography/flame ionization detector. Results: The results showed that HDB identified in the FLCO alone included Pseudomonas aeruginosa (day 0), Proteus vulgaris (day 14), P. aeruginosa and Kliebsiella pneumoniae (day 28). However, in the mixture, Escherichia coli was identified on day 14 in addition to the other species observed in FLCO alone. HDF identified in FLCO alone were Candida krusei and Candida albicans (days 0 and 14), Trichosporon cutaneum and C. albicans (day 28). In the mixture, HDF identified were C. albicans (day 0), C. albicans and Aspergillus spp. (days 14 and 28)" Furthermore, the mixture enhanced the growth of HDBF (average counts: 32.5 x 107 and 225 x 106 cfu/mL) compared to FLCO alone (17.5 x 107 and 17.5 x 106 cfu/mL) by day 14 respectively. Total petroleum hydrocarbon reduction was highest (85%) in the mixture compared to 5% in FLCO alone by day 14. Conclusions: The study demonstrated the biodegradation efficiency of E. coli, P. vulgaris (bacteria), C. albicans and Aspergillus spp. (fungi) in a crude oil-contaminated aquatic environment in conjunction with dispersant use. Further studies in the field are recommended in order to explore their potential for rapid and large scale crude oil clean-up operations.
Crude oil , Dispersant , Hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria , Hydrocarbon-degrading fungi , Biodegradation , Water , Research Subject Categories::NATURAL SCIENCES
Sogbanmu, T. O., Doherty, V. F., Buraimoh, M. O. and Arokoyu, O. F. (2017). Influence of a dispersant on the types and growth of microbial hydrocarbon degraders in a crude oil-contaminated medium. Journal of Health and Pollution 7(14): 62-70.