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Enhanced biodegradation of diesel oil by a newly identified Rhodococcus baikonurensis EN3 in the presence of mycolic acid

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Myung Kim, Dr Ian Singleton, Professor Michael Goodfellow


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Aims: The aim of the present study was to isolate and characterize a bacterium, strain EN3, capable of using diesel oil as a major carbon and energy source, and to analyse the enhancement of diesel oil degradation by this organism using synthetic mycolic acid (2-hexyl-3-hydroxyldecanoic acid). Method and Results: An actinomycete with the ability to degrade diesel oil was isolated from oil contaminated soil and characterized. The strain had phenotypic properties consistent with its classification in the genus Rhodococcus showing a 16S rRNA gene similarity of 99.7% with Rhodococcus baikonurensis DSM 44587 T. The ability of the characterized strain to degrade diesel oil at various concentrations (1000, 5000, 10 000 and 20 000 mg l-1) was determined. The effect of synthetic mycolic acid on the biodegradation of diesel oil was investigated at the 20 000 mg l-1 concentration; the surfactant was added to the flask cultures at three different concentrations (10, 50 and 100 mg l-1) and degradation followed over 7 days. Enhanced degradation was found at all three concentrations of the surfactant. In addition, the enhancement of diesel oil degradation by other surfactants was observed. Conclusions: The synthetic mycolic acid has potential for the remediation of petroleum-contaminated sites from both an economic and applied perspective as it can stimulate biodegradation at low concentrations. Significance and Impact of the Study: This study showed that the synthesized mycolic acid can be used for potential applications in the bioremediation industries, for example, in oil spill clean-up, diesel fuel remediation and biostimulation. © 2006 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lee M, Kim MK, Singleton I, Goodfellow M, Lee S-T

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Applied Microbiology

Year: 2006

Volume: 100

Issue: 2

Pages: 325-333

ISSN (print): 1364-5072

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2672

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2005.02756.x

PubMed id: 16430509


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