SCREENING FOR HEAVY MOLECULAR WEIGHT HYDROCARBON UTILIZING BACTERIA FROM OIL IMPACTED, NON OIL IMPACTED SOIL AND NATURAL DEPOSITS
Control and treatment of hazardous effects of heavy molecular weight oil (bitumen) pollution are essential in contaminated soil. This study involved the isolation and screening of microorganisms capable of utilizing heavy molecular weight hydrocarbon from oil impacted, non oil impacted soil and natural deposits of bitumen. Total heterotrophic bacterial counts in the samples ranged from 1.4 ªª? 105 CFU/g to 2.0 ªª? 106 CFU/g. Total oil utilizing bacterial counts varied from 1.5 ªª? 104 CFU/g to 3.6 ªª? 105 CFU/g. Isolates were identified using API 20E kit. They belong to the genera Burkholderia, Pseudomonas, and Serratia. Degradation efficiency of the isolates on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) and Low Pour Point Fuel Oil (LPFO) were carried out by a colorimetric rapid screen test using 2, 6-dichlorophenol indophenol (DCPIP) reduction test which was monitored by measuring absorbance at 600 nm at every 24 hrs for 120 hrs. Order of ability of the isolates to degrade PMS: P. aeruginosa > P. mendocina > P. borbori > S. rubidae > P. cichorii > B. cepacia while for DPK is P. cichorii > P. borbori > S. rubidae > P. mendocina > B. cepacia > P. aeruginosa. Ability to degrade LPFO: P. cichorii > P. borbori > P. aeruginosa > P. mendocina > B. cepacia > S. rubidae.