Bioremediation has been argued to be cheaper and more environmental friendly when compared to other remediation technology. Bioremediation make use of the ability of bacteria and fungi to biodegrade organic compound to cleanup hydrocarbon pollution. Many fungi have been shown to biodegrade simple and complex polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon. In this study, petroleum hydrocarbon degrading fungi have been isolated and identified by microscopic and macroscopic methods in oil polluted soil. The polluted soil samples were collected from an oil polluted site within an oil bearing community in Bayelsa state of Nigeria. Eight different strains of fungi were isolated and identified and they include, Penicillium spp, Candida species, Aspergillus niger, Mucor spp, Rhodotorulla spp, Rhizopus, Trichorderma spp and Cladospermorium spp. Population of hydrocarbon degrading fungi, isolated from the soil collected in three different sampling stations are 5.3x104, 8.3x103 and 2.51x104 Cfu/g for station 1, 2 and 3, respectively. While total hetetrophilic fungi are 3.6x105, 7.1x105, and 9.51x106.Cfu/g, Penicillium spp , A. niger, Mucor spp, Rhodotorulla spp, Rhizopus, Phanerochaete spp, Alternaria alternate, Fusarium spp are strains of fungi that have been discovered by different scholars to degrade different components of petroleum. This study has revealed that oil polluted soil in the Niger Delta is habited by hydrocarbon degrading fungi, which can be biostimulated to enhance oil pollution cleanup in the area.
Key words: Bioremediation, biodegradation, fungi, polluted soil biostimulate, isolated and identified.
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