Bioremediation of Oily Hypersaline Soil via Autochthonous Bioaugmentation with Halophilic Bacteria and Archaea

Lee, KC
Archer, SDJ
Kansour, MK
Al-Mailem, DM
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Journal Article
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Elsevier BV

Kuwaiti hypersaline soil samples were contaminated with 5 % (w/w) weathered Kuwaiti light crude oil and bioaugmented with autochthonous halophilic hydrocarbonoclastic archaeal and bacterial strains, two each, individually and as consortia. Residual oil contents were determined, and microbial communities were analyzed by culture-dependent and culture-independent approaches initially and seasonally for one year. After one year of the bioremediation process, the mean oil degradation rate was similar across all treated soils including the controlled unbioaugmented one. Oil hydrocarbons were drastically reduced in all soil samples with values ranging from 82.7 % to 93 %. During the bioremediation process, the number of culturable oil-degrading bacteria increased to a range of 142 to 344 CFUx104 g−1 after 12 months of bioaugmentation. Although culture-independent analysis showed a high proportion of inoculants initially, none could be cultured throughout the bioremediation procedure. Within a year, microbial communities changed continually, and 33 species of halotolerant/halophilic hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria were isolated and identified belonged mainly to the three major bacterial phyla Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, and Firmicutes. The archaeal phylum Halobacterota represented <1 % of the microbial community's relative abundance, which explains why none of its members were cultured. Improving the biodegradability of an already balanced environment by autochthonous bioaugmentation is more involved than just adding the proper oil degraders. This study emphasizes the possibility of a relatively large resistant population, a greater diversity of oil-degrading microorganisms, and the highly selective impacts of oil contamination on hypersaline soil bacterial communities.

Autochthonous bioaugmentation , Bioremediation , Halophiles , Hydrocarbonoclastic , Hypersaline soil , 3107 Microbiology , 31 Biological Sciences , 4103 Environmental Biotechnology , 41 Environmental Sciences , Environmental Sciences
Science of the Total Environment, ISSN: 0048-9697 (Print); 1879-1026 (Online), Elsevier BV, 922, 171279-. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2024.171279
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