African Journal of

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Biotechnol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1684-5315
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJB
  • Start Year: 2002
  • Published Articles: 12484

Full Length Research Paper

Hexadecane degradation by bacterial strains isolated from contaminated soils

  Ahmed Abdel-Megeed1*, Naif Al-Harbi1,3 and Salem Al-Deyab2  
  1King Saud University, College of Sciences, Dept. of Botany and Microbiology, P. O. Box 2455 - Riyadh 11451 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. *Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture (Saba Basha), Alexandria University, Egypt 2King Saud University, College of Sciences, Dept. of Chemistry, Petrochem Res Chair, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia. 3Addiriyah Chair for Environmental Studies, College of Science, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2455, Riyadh 11451,  Saudi Arabia.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 17 September 2010
  •  Published: 01 November 2010



A study was undertaken to detect and monitor the degradation of hexadecane by three potential degrading bacteria (Pseudomonas putida, Rhodococcus erythroplolis and Bacillus thermoleovorans) isolated from contaminated soils in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The extraction of the bacterial populations from these polluted soils were 5.25 x 105, 1.76 x 106 and 5.11 x 105 cells/ml, respectively with three different colony types of bacterial strains. Microbial population diversity studies were carried out by microbial enumeration identification and determination of growth responses of bacterial isolates in different concentrations of hexadecane. Phenotypic examination of the heterotrophic bacteria belonged mainly to the genusPseudomonasRhodococcus and Bacillus. The mixed populations were capable of degrading hexadecane up to 120 ppm. The biodegradation of hexadecane by P. putida, R. erythroplolis and B. thermoleovorans together, was fast when compared to the biodegradation of hexadecane by each strain separately. This study reported on how to change contaminated soils to a non contaminated state. Healthy soils are essential not only to sustain production of food and fibber for citizens of the world, but also to provide a good quality life.


Key words: Hexadecane, biodegradation, Pseudomonas putida, Rhodococcus erythroplolisBacillus thermoleovorans.