Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research (ISSN : 0975-7384)

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Original Articles: 2014 Vol: 6 Issue: 5

Bioremediation of crude oil and hydrocarbons by actinomycetes with the enhanced production of bioactive compounds.


Biosurfactants act as stimulants for biodegradation by increasing the surface area of the hydrophobic substrate available for microbial attachment. The study aims the analysis of biosurfactant production by actinomycetes in order to reduce the toxicity of pollutants in soil by bioremediation. Biosurfactant producing actinomycetes were isolated from polluted environment by oil displacement method and identified by physiological, biochemical and morphological characterization. Production of biosurfactants was measured by Adhesion to Hydrocarbons (ATH) Assay as 91.2% and the emulsification index was determined to be 83.3%. Biosurfactant production kinetics was estimated at different intervals of time and biosurfactant production was maximum in the strain numbered TCD06 at 72 hrs of incubation, the extraction was carried out through chloroform methanol method. Characterization of biosurfactants by Fourier Transform Infra Red Spectrum (FTIR) and Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GCMS) analysis revealed the presence of terpenoids and cyclopentanol. Dense growth of the strains was observed with olive oil substrate for the strains with bioremediating properties with high emulsification index and production of biosurfactants. This study reveals the presence of new and powerful biosurfactants in actinomycetes which can emulsify the toxins and hydrocarbons and use them as their food source. The study is crucial in utilizing Actinomycetes as a potent organism for the production of biosurfactants in remediating heavily polluted soils. Emulsification index and biosurfactant production are comparatively higher than other microbial strains available for bioremediation. Incorporating such consortia of actinomycete strains into highly polluted soils can mitigate the problem of pollution.