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Microbial surfactant activities from a petrochemical landfarm in a humid tropical region of Brazil

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Abstract:

The goal of this study was to assess the presence and surfactant potential of naturally occurring microbes from a tropical soil with petrochemical contamination. Microorganisms in a soil sample from a Brazilian landfarm were isolated and grown on petroleum as the sole carbon source. Of 60 isolates screened for petroleum-based growth, 7 demonstrated surfactant activities by the drop–collapse methodology over various types of oils. From their growth profiles in liquid culture during 132h, all had their first detection of surfactant activity after 96h. Little is currently known about biosurfactant-producing microorganisms in tropical environments contaminated by hydrophobic compounds, and the search for them is essential for bioremediation and for oil recovery enhanced by microbes. Our results indicate that different petroleum-grown microorganisms showing surfactant activity can be recovered from landfarm soil in a tropical environment.

Le but de cette étude était d’évaluer la présence et le potentiel fluidifiant de microbes vivant naturellement sur des sols tropicaux contaminés par des déchets pétrochimiques. Les microorganismes présents dans un échantillon de terre agricole du Brésil ont été isolés et cultivés sur du pétrole comme source exclusive de carbone. Des 60 isolats évalués quant à leur capacité de croître sur le pétrole, sept d’entre eux ont démontré une activité de surfactant mesurée par la méthode d’effondrement (drop–collapse) sur différents types d’huiles. Chez tous ces isolats, les premières manifestations de cette activité étaient détectables après 96 h de culture, selon leur profile de croissance en milieu liquide observé pendant 132 h. On connaît peu de chose des microorganismes produisant des biosurfactants dans un environnement tropical contaminé par des composés hydrophobes, conséquemment leur identification est essentielle dans une perspective de réhabilitation biologique et de récupération de pétrole assistée par l’activité microbienne. Nos résultats indiquent que différents microorganismes cultivés sur du pétrole qui possédent une activité de surfactant peuvent être récupérés de terres agricoles dans un environnement tropical.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2007

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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