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Biotecnología Aplicada

On-line version ISSN 1027-2852


BARRIOS-SAN MARTIN, Yaima et al. Study and isolation of aerobic hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria from Cuban shorelines. Biotecnol Apl [online]. 2012, vol.29, n.2, pp.80-86. ISSN 1027-2852.

The isolation of aerobic marine bacteria able to degrade hydrocarbons represents a promising alternative for the decontamination of oceanic and coastal environments. In the present work, twelve water and sediment samples from the Felton coastline in the Province of Holguín were collected and screened with Bushnell-Haas medium supplemented with light crude oil or with seawater supplemented with yeast extract and crude oil as a carbon source, obtaining twenty seven and six bacterial isolates respectively that were able to grow in these media. The obtained isolates were then subjected to selection in Bushnell-Haas medium supplemented with a heavy crude oil, selecting three strains able to degrade this hydrocarbon mixture within a period of seven days. Pure cultures of these strains were further used in crude oil biodegradability assays. Total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) degradation was evaluated through SARA analysis, employing gas chromatography with an FID detector and infrared spectroscopy to analyze the aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbon fractions, respectively. All three stains removed more than 60% of the TPH and one of them showed the best degradation potential with figures above 65% for the entire hydrocarbon fraction, except resins. Two of the strains were also able to decrease C17:Pr and C18:Ph ratios to less than 50% in comparison to the abiotic control. Two of these strains were phenotypically identified as sp., and the remaining one as sp. The degradation potential exhibited by these new isolates warrants further studies on their possible application to decontaminate coastal environments affected by oil spills.

Keywords : Marine bacteria; biodegradation of hydrocarbons; Felton.

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