Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Environment, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, China; Hinggan League Academy of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Ulanhot, Inner Mongolia 137400, China. Electronic address: [Email]
The Yellow River Delta (YRD), being close to Shengli Oilfield, is at high risk for petroleum oil pollution. The aim of this study was to isolate halotolerant phenanthrene (PHE) degrading bacteria for dealing with this contaminates in salinity environment. Two bacterial strains assigned as FM6-1 and FM8-1 were successfully screened from oil contaminated soil in the YRD. Morphological and molecular analysis suggested that strains FM6-1 and FM8-1 were belonging to Delftia sp. and Achromobacter sp., respectively. Bacterial growth of both strains was not dependent on NaCl, however, grew well under extensive NaCl concentration. The optimum NaCl concentration for bacterial production of strain FM8-1 was 4% (m/v), whereas for strain FM6-1, growth was not affected within 2.5% NaCl. Both strains could use the tested aromatic hydrocarbons (naphthalene, phenanthrene, fluoranthene and pyrene) and aliphatic hydrocarbons (C12, C16, C20 and C32) as sole carbon source. The optimized biodegradation conditions for strain FM6-1 were pH 7, 28 °C and 2% NaCl, for strain FM8-1 were pH 8, 28 °C and 2.5% NaCl. The highest biodegradation rate of strains FM6-1 and FM8-1 was found at 150 mg/L PHE and 200 mg/L, respectively. In addition, strainsFM8-1 showed a superior biodegradation ability to strain FM6-1 at each optimized condition. The PHE biodegradation process by both strains well fitted to first-order kinetic models and the k1 values were calculated to be 0.1974 and 0.1070 per day. Strain FM6-1 metabolized PHE via a "phthalic acid" route, while strain FM8-1 metabolized PHE through the "naphthalene" route. This project not only obtained two halotolerant petroleum hydrocarbon degraders but also provided a promising remediation approach for solving oil pollutants in salinity environments.