The abilities of diesel-degrading Bacillus pumilus JLB and Acinetobacter calcoaceticus LT1 were tested in contaminated soils. The effect of nutrient supplementation on bioaugmented samples was also examined. The results show that bio-augmentation and biostimulation accelerated significantly (p < 0.05) the diesel degradation in the contaminated loam soil and sea sand. Supplementing fertilizers to the augmented loam samples did not result in a significantly higher degradation rate. Furthermore, A. calcoaceticus LT1 alone failed to stimulate higher degradation rates in sea sand unless further supplementation of fertilizer. The results from environmental scanning electron microscopy demonstrate the population increases, then decreases in augmented samples corresponding to the level of diesel degradation. Fungi-like microorganisms became dominant in contaminated loam soil at the end of the study but not in sea sand. The study shows that it is critical not only to understand the physiology of the inoculum but also how it affects microbial community structure and function before the microorganism being introduced in the contaminated soil.
Key words: Diesel, bioremediation, bioattenuation, bioaugmentation, biostimulation.
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