African Journal of

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Biotechnol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1684-5315
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJB
  • Start Year: 2002
  • Published Articles: 12227

Full Length Research Paper

Isolation of two Kocuria species capable of growing on various polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Rifat Zubair Ahmed1*, Nuzhat Ahmed1 and Geoffrey Michael Gadd2
  1Centre for Molecular Genetics, University of Karachi, Karachi 75270, Pakistan. 2Division of Molecular Microbiology, College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 5EH, Scotland, UK.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 16 March 2010
  •  Published: 14 June 2010



Different samples collected from crude oil contaminated beach were enriched for isolation of bacterial strains capable of growing on naphthalene, phenanthrene and fluoranthene. Respiratory reduction of WST-1{4-[3-(4-iodophenyl)-2-(4-nitrophenyl)-2H-5-tetrazolio]-1,3-benzene disulfonate} to a colored formazan showed that one isolated strain CMG2028, identified as Kocuria flava by 16s rRNA, grew on naphthalene and phenanthrene while CMG2042, identified as Kocuria rosea grew on all three polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). In naphthalene degradation test, 64 and 47% residual naphthalene was extracted after ten days of incubation from culture medium of K. rosea CMG2042 and K. flava CMG2028, respectively, when provided with 0.5 mg ml-1 concentration as sole carbon source. Due to addition of 0.5 mg ml-1 yeast extract as additional carbon source, residual naphthalene extracted was 41 and 55% from K. rosea CMG2042 and KflavaCMG2028, respectively. Both strains exhibited growth on 0.01 mg ml-1phenanthrene and fluoranthene in yeast extract added or omitted medium but onlyK. rosea CMG2042 degraded 9% phenanthrene as a sole carbon source. Both strains had growth on minimal agar plates coated with Iranian light crude oil as sole carbon source and on agar medium added with yeast extract.


Key words: Biodegradation, crude oil, Kocuria, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, yeast extract.


PAHs, Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; YE, yeast extract; Nap, naphthalene, Phe, phenanthrene; Fla, fluoranthene; ASW, artificial sea water medium; MSM, minimal salt medium; PMM, phosphate minimal medium;  NA, nutrient agar; LB, Luria Bertani.