Crude Oil Biodegradation in Shatt Al-Arab River, Iraq

Wasen Abdul Ameer Ali, Wisam Abdul Ameer Farid, Arkan Yakoob Yousif, Abdul–Muttalib Abdullah Al-Eed, Luaay Abdul Wahed Shihab


Oil degrading bacteria in Shatt Al-Arab River were widely distributed to constitute a big percentage of heterotrophic bacteria. Their numbers and biodegradation potential were higher during summer and in sediment than during winter and in water. They belonged to the genera Micrococcus, Vibrio, Flavobacterium, Corynebactrium, Pseudomonas, Arthrobacter, Bacillus, Staphylococcus, Nocardia, Aeromonas, and Acintobacter. The most active degraders degraded the crude oil by more than 50 % over a 21 days period. The UV mutated degrader (P. putida) and Arthrobacter sp. mixed culture degraded the crude oil by 92 % over the same period. The rates of biodegradation in open water were limited by temperature and available nutrients. The adding of nutrients and oil degraders cultures to crude oil contaminated site was enhanced biodegradation. All components of crude oil were biodegraded at different rates. The biodegradation of aromatic hydrocarbons were much lower than n– and branched alkanes.


Shatt Al-Arab River, oil biodegradation, Bioremediation, UV mutated bacteria

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