Isolation and characterization of novel bacteria degrading polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from polluted Greek soils

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Abstract

Three bacterial strains, designated as Wphe1, Sphe1, and Ophe1, were isolated from Greek soils contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-containing waste from the wood processing, steel, and oil refinery industries. Wphe1, Sphe1, and Ophe1 were characterized and identified as species of Pseudomonas, Microbacterium, and Paracoccus, respectively, based on Gram staining, biochemical tests, phospholipid analysis, FAME analysis, G+C content and 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. The results of gas chromatography showed that strain Wphe1 degraded naphthalene, phenanthrene, and m-cresol over a wide temperature range; strain Sphe1 was a degrader of phenanthrene and n-alkanes; most interestingly, strain Ophe1 degraded anthracene, phenanthrene, fluorene, fluoranthene, chrysene, and pyrene, as well as cresol compounds and n-alkanes as sole carbon source. This is the first report of a representative of the genus Paracoccus capable of degrading PAHs with such versatility. These three strains may be useful for bioremediation applications.

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