Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 35

biodegradation Related Abstracts

35 Identification and Characterisation of Oil Sludge Degrading Bacteria Isolated from Compost

Authors: O. Ubani, H. I. Atagana, M. S. Thantsha, R. Adeleke


The oil sludge components (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, PAHs) have been found to be cytotoxic, mutagenic and potentially carcinogenic and microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi can degrade the oil sludge to less toxic compounds such as carbon dioxide, water and salts. In the present study, we isolated different bacteria with PAH-degrading potentials from the co-composting of oil sludge and different animal manure. These bacteria were isolated on the mineral base medium and mineral salt agar plates as a growth control. A total of 31 morphologically distinct isolates were carefully selected from 5 different compost treatments for identification using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of the 16S rDNA gene with specific primers (16S-P1 PCR and 16S-P2 PCR). The amplicons were sequenced and sequences were compared with the known nucleotides from the gene bank database. The phylogenetical analyses of the isolates showed that they belong to 3 different clades namely Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria. These bacteria identified were closely related to genera Bacillus, Arthrobacter, Staphylococcus, Brevibacterium, Variovorax, Paenibacillus, Ralstonia and Geobacillus species. The results showed that Bacillus species were more dominant in all treated compost piles. Based on their characteristics these bacterial isolates have high potential to utilise PAHs of different molecular weights as carbon and energy sources. These identified bacteria are of special significance in their capacity to emulsify the PAHs and their ability to utilize them. Thus, they could be potentially useful for bioremediation of oil sludge and composting processes.

Keywords: Bioremediation, biodegradation, Composting, Bioaugmentation, PAHs, animal manures, oil sludge

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34 In situ Biodegradation of Endosulfan, Imidacloprid, and Carbendazim Using Indigenous Bacterial Cultures of Agriculture Fields of Uttarakhand, India

Authors: Anita Sharma, Pankaj, Geeta Negi, Anjana Srivastava


In the present study, the presence of endosulfan, imidacloprid, carbendazim, in the soil /vegetables/cereals and water samples was observed in agriculture fields of Uttarakhand. In view of biodegradation of these pesticides, nine bacterial isolates were recovered from the soil samples of the fields which tolerated endosulfan, imidacloprid, carbendazim from 100 to 200 µg/ml. Three bacterial consortia used for in vitro bioremediation experiments were three bacterial isolates for carbendazim, imidacloprid and endosulfan, respectively. Maximum degradation (87 and 83%) of α and β endosulfan respectively was observed in soil slurry by consortium. Degradation of Imidacloprid and carbendazim under similar conditions was 88.4 and 77.5% respectively. FT-IR analysis of biodegraded samples of pesticides in liquid media showed stretching of various bonds. GC-MS of biodegraded endosulfan sample in soil slurry showed the presence of non-toxic intermediates. A pot trial with Bacterial treatments lowered down the uptake of pesticides in onion plants.

Keywords: biodegradation, carbendazim, consortium, endosulfan

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33 Degradation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons Using Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Isolated from Oil Contaminated Soil Incorporated into E. coli DH5α Host

Authors: C. S. Jeba Samuel


Soil, especially from oil field has posed a great hazard for terrestrial and marine ecosystems. The traditional treatment of oil contaminated soil cannot degrade the crude oil completely. So far, biodegradation proves to be an efficient method. During biodegradation, crude oil is used as the carbon source and addition of nitrogenous compounds increases the microbial growth, resulting in the effective breakdown of crude oil components to low molecular weight components. The present study was carried out to evaluate the biodegradation of crude oil by hydrocarbon-degrading microorganism Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolated from natural environment like oil contaminated soil. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an oil degrading microorganism also called as hydrocarbon utilizing microorganism (or “HUM” bug) can utilize crude oil as sole carbon source. In this study, the biodegradation of crude oil was conducted with modified mineral basal salt medium and nitrogen sources so as to increase the degradation. The efficacy of the plasmid from the isolated strain was incorporated into E.coli DH5 α host to speed up the degradation of oil. The usage of molecular techniques has increased oil degradation which was confirmed by the degradation of aromatic and aliphatic rings of hydrocarbons and was inferred by the lesser number of peaks in Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). The gas chromatogram again confirms better degradation by transformed cells by the lesser number of components obtained in the oil treated with transformed cells. This study demonstrated the technical feasibility of using direct inoculation of transformed cells onto the oil contaminated region thereby leading to the achievement of better oil degradation in a shorter time than the degradation caused by the wild strain.

Keywords: biodegradation, Hydrocarbon, aromatic rings, plasmid, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)

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32 Stability of a Biofilm Reactor Able to Degrade a Mixture of the Organochlorine Herbicides Atrazine, Simazine, Diuron and 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid to Changes in the Composition of the Supply Medium

Authors: I. Nava-Arenas, N. Ruiz-Ordaz, C. J. Galindez-Mayer, M. L. Luna-Guido, S. L. Ruiz-López, A. Cabrera-Orozco, D. Nava-Arenas


Among the most important herbicides, the organochlorine compounds are of considerable interest due to their recalcitrance to the chemical, biological, and photolytic degradation, their persistence in the environment, their mobility, and their bioacummulation. The most widely used herbicides in North America are primarily 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), the triazines (atrazine and simazine), and to a lesser extent diuron. The contamination of soils and water bodies frequently occurs by mixtures of these xenobiotics. For this reason, in this work, the operational stability to changes in the composition of the medium supplied to an aerobic biofilm reactor was studied. The reactor was packed with fragments of volcanic rock that retained a complex microbial film, able to degrade a mixture of organochlorine herbicides atrazine, simazine, diuron and 2,4-D, and whose members have microbial genes encoding the main catabolic enzymes atzABCD, tfdACD and puhB. To acclimate the attached microbial community, the biofilm reactor was fed continuously with a mineral minimal medium containing the herbicides (in mg•L-1): diuron, 20.4; atrazine, 14.2, simazine, 11.4, and 2,4-D, 59.7, as carbon and nitrogen sources. Throughout the bioprocess, removal efficiencies of 92-100% for herbicides, 78-90% for COD, 92-96% for TOC and 61-83% for dehalogenation were reached. In the microbial community, the genes encoding catabolic enzymes of different herbicides tfdACD, puhB and, occasionally, the genes atzA and atzC were detected. After the acclimatization, the triazine herbicides were eliminated from the mixture formulation. Volumetric loading rates of the mixture 2,4-D and diuron were continuously supplied to the reactor (1.9-21.5 mg herbicides •L-1 •h-1). Along the bioprocess, the removal efficiencies obtained were 86-100% for the mixture of herbicides, 63-94% for for COD, 90-100% for COT, and dehalogenation values of 63-100%. It was also observed that the genes encoding the enzymes in the catabolism of both herbicides, tfdACD and puhB, were consistently detected; and, occasionally, the atzA and atzC. Subsequently, the triazine herbicide atrazine and simazine were restored to the medium supply. Different volumetric charges of this mixture were continuously fed to the reactor (2.9 to 12.6 mg herbicides •L-1 •h-1). During this new treatment process, removal efficiencies of 65-95% for the mixture of herbicides, 63-92% for COD, 66-89% for TOC and 73-94% of dehalogenation were observed. In this last case, the genes tfdACD, puhB and atzABC encoding for the enzymes involved in the catabolism of the distinct herbicides were consistently detected. The atzD gene, encoding the cyanuric hydrolase enzyme, could not be detected, though it was determined that there was partial degradation of cyanuric acid. In general, the community in the biofilm reactor showed some catabolic stability, adapting to changes in loading rates and composition of the mixture of herbicides, and preserving their ability to degrade the four herbicides tested; although, there was a significant delay in the response time to recover to degradation of the herbicides.

Keywords: biodegradation, biofilm reactor, microbial community, organochlorine herbicides

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31 The Effect of Enzymatic Keratin Hydrolysate on the Susceptibility of Cellulosic-Elastomeric Material to Biodecomposition

Authors: A. Przepiórkowska, M. Prochoń, Y. H. Tshela Ntumba


Polymeric materials have become an integral part of every aspect of today's industry. They have wide applications, inter alia, in areas such as medicine, food industry and agriculture. In agriculture, for example, they are used for the production of pots, irrigation systems and for soil mulching. The aim of this study was the attempt to produce a biodecomposable agricultural mat, by coating cotton fabric with a blend of carboxylated styrene-butadiene latex (LBSK) containing the enzymatic hydrolyzate of keratin from cattle hair, which would serve as a material for mulching. The production of such material allows the beneficial management of burdensome tannery waste constituted by keratin from cattle hair and at the same time, the production of agricultural mats that much faster undergo decomposition than commonly used polyethylene mats.

Keywords: biodegradation, agricultural mat, biodecomposition, carboxylated butadiene-styrene latex, cellulosic-elastomeric material, keratin hydrolyzate, mulching, protein hydrolyzate

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30 Treatment of Grey Water from Different Restaurants in FUTA Using Fungi

Authors: F. A. Ogundolie, F. Okogue, D. V. Adegunloye


Greywater samples were obtained from three restaurants in the Federal University of Technology; Akure coded SSR, MGR and GGR. Fungi isolates obtained include Rhizopus stolonifer, Aspergillus niger, Mucor mucedo, Aspergillus flavus, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Of these fungi isolates obtained, R. stolonifer, A. niger and A. flavus showed significant degradation ability on grey water and was used for this research. A simple bioreactor was constructed using biodegradation process in purification of waste water samples. Waste water undergoes primary treatment; secondary treatment involves the introduction of the isolated organisms into the waste water sample and the tertiary treatment which involved the use of filter candle and the sand bed filtration process to achieve the end product without the use of chemicals. A. niger brought about significant reduction in both the bacterial load and the fungi load of the greywater samples of the three respective restaurants with a reduction of (1.29 × 108 to 1.57 × 102 cfu/ml; 1.04 × 108 to 1.12 × 102 cfu/ml and 1.72 × 108 to 1.60 × 102 cfu/ml) for bacterial load in SSR, MGR and GGR respectively. Reduction of 2.01 × 104 to 1.2 × 101; 1.72 × 104 to 1.1 × 101, and 2.50 × 104 to 1.5 × 101 in fungi load from SSR, MGR and GGR respectively. Result of degradation of these selected waste water by the fungi showed that A. niger was probably more potent in the degradation of organic matter and hence, A. niger could be used in the treatment of wastewater.

Keywords: bioreactor, Bacterial, Purification, biodegradation, Fungi, Aspergillus niger, microbial load, greywater, organic matter and filtration

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29 Treatment of Simulated Textile Wastewater Containing Reactive Azo Dyes Using Laboratory Scale Trickling Filter

Authors: Safia Ahmed, Ayesha Irum, Sadia Mumtaz, Abdul Rehman, Iffat Naz


The present study was conducted to evaluate the potential applicability of biological trickling filter system for the treatment of simulated textile wastewater containing reactive azo dyes with bacterial consortium under non-sterile conditions. The percentage decolorization for the treatment of wastewater containing structurally different dyes was found to be higher than 95% in all trials. The stable bacterial count of the biofilm on stone media of the trickling filter during the treatment confirmed the presence, proliferation, dominance and involvement of the added microbial consortium in the treatment of textile wastewater. Results of physicochemical parameters revealed the reduction in chemical oxygen demand (58.5-75.1%), sulphates (18.9-36.5%), and phosphates (63.6-73.0%). UV-Visible and FTIR spectroscopy confirmed decolorization of dye containing wastewater was the ultimate consequence of biodegradation. Toxicological studies revealed the nontoxic nature of degradative metabolites.

Keywords: biodegradation, Waste water, textile dyes, trickling filters

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28 Biodegradation of Malathion by Acinetobacter baumannii Strain AFA Isolated from Domestic Sewage in Egypt

Authors: Ahmed F. Azmy, Amal E. Saafan, Tamer M. Essam, Magdy A. Amin, Shaban H. Ahmed


Bacterial strains capable of degradation of malathion from the domestic sewage were isolated by an enrichment culture technique. Three bacterial strains were screened and identified as Acinetobacter baumannii (AFA), Pseudomonas aeruginosae (PS1),andPseudomonas mendocina (PS2) based on morphological, biochemical identification and 16S rRNA sequence analysis. Acinetobacter baumannii AFA was the most efficient malathion degrading bacterium, so used for further biodegradation study. AFA was able to grow in mineral salt medium (MSM) supplemented with malathion (100 mg/l) as a sole carbon source, and within 14 days, 84% of the initial dose was degraded by the isolate measured by high performance liquid chromatography. Strain AFA could also degrade other organophosphorus compounds including diazenon, chlorpyrifos and fenitrothion. The effect of different culture conditions on the degradation of malathion like inoculum density, other carbon or nitrogen sources, temperature and shaking were examined. Degradation of malathion and bacterial cell growth were accelerated when culture media were supplemented with yeast extract, glucose and citrate. The optimum conditions for malathion degradation by strain AFA were; an inoculum density of 1.5x 1012CFU/ml at 30°C with shaking. A specific polymerase chain reaction primers were designed manually using multiple sequence alignment of the corresponding carboxylesterase enzymes of Acinetobacter species. Sequencing result of amplified PCR product and phylogenetic analysis showed low degree of homology with the other carboxylesterase enzymes of Acinetobacter strains, so we suggested that this enzyme is a novel esterase enzyme. Isolated bacterial strains may have potential role for use in bioremediation of malathion contaminated.

Keywords: biodegradation, Acinetobacter baumannii, malathion, organophosphate pesticides

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27 Characterization of 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene (Tnt)-Metabolizing Bacillus Cereus Sp TUHP2 Isolated from TNT-Polluted Soils in the Vellore District, Tamilnadu, India

Authors: S. Hannah Elizabeth, A. Panneerselvam


Objective: The main objective was to evaluate the degradative properties of Bacillus cereus sp TUHP2 isolated from TNT-Polluted soils in the Vellore District, Tamil Nadu, India. Methods: Among the 3 bacterial genera isolated from different soil samples, one potent TNT degrading strain Bacillus cereus sp TUHP2 was identified. The morphological, physiological and the biochemical properties of the strain Bacillus cereus sp TUHP2 was confirmed by conventional methods and genotypic characterization was carried out using 16S r-DNA partial gene amplification and sequencing. The broken down by products of DNT in the extract was determined by Gas Chromatogram- Mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Supernatant samples from the broth studied at 24 h interval were analyzed by HPLC analysis and the effect on various nutritional and environmental factors were analysed and optimized for the isolate. Results: Out of three isolates one strain TUHP2 were found to have potent efficiency to degrade TNT and revealed the genus Bacillus. 16S rDNA gene sequence analysis showed highest homology (98%) with Bacillus cereus and was assigned as Bacillus cereus sp TUHP2. Based on the energy of the predicted models, the secondary structure predicted by MFE showed the more stable structure with a minimum energy. Products of TNT Transformation showed colour change in the medium during cultivation. TNT derivates such as 2HADNT and 4HADNT were detected by HPLC chromatogram and 2ADNT, 4ADNT by GC/MS analysis. Conclusion: Hence this study presents the clear evidence for the biodegradation process of TNT by strain Bacillus cereus sp TUHP2.

Keywords: Bioremediation, Biotransformation, biodegradation, Sequencing

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26 Enhanced PAHs' Biodegradation by Consortia Developed with Biofilm – Biosurfactant - Producing Microorganisms

Authors: Swapna Guntupalli, Leela Madhuri Chalasani, Kshatri Jyothi, C. V. Rao, Bondili J. S.


The study hypothesizes that enhanced biodegradation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) is achievable with an assemblage of microorganisms that are capable of producing biofilm and biosurfactants. Accordingly, PAHs degrading microorganism’s (bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes and yeast) were screened and grouped into different consortia based on their capabilities to produce biofilm and biosurfactants. Among these, Consortium BTSN09 consisting of bacterial fungal cocultures showed highest degradation due to the synergistic action between them. Degradation effiencies were evaluated using HPLC and GC-MS. Within 7days, BTSN09 showed 51% and 50.7% degradation of Phenanthrene (PHE) and Pyrene (PYR) with 200mg/L and 100 mg/L concentrations respectively in a liquid medium. In addition, several degradative enzymes like laccases, 1hydroxy-2-naphthoicacid dioxygenase, 2-carboxybenzaldehyde dehydrogenase, catechol1,2 dioxygenase and catechol2,3 dioxygenase activity was observed during degradation. Degradation metabolites were identified using GC-MS analysis and from the results it was confirmed that the metabolism of degradation proceeds via pthalic acid pathway for both PAHs. Besides, Microbial consortia also demonstrated good biosurfactant production capacity, achieving maximum oil displacement area and emulsification activity of 19.62 cm2, 65.5% in presence of PAHs as sole carbon source. Scanning Electron Microscopy analysis revealed exopolysaccharides (EPS) production, micro and macrocolonies formation with different stages of biofim development in presence of PAHs during degradation.

Keywords: biodegradation, Biofilm, PAHs, biosurfactant

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25 Influence of Synergistic/Antagonistic Mixtures of Oligomeric Stabilizers on the Biodegradation of γ-Sterilized Polyolefins

Authors: Sameh A. S. Thabit Alariqi


Our previous studies aimed to investigate the biodegradation of γ-sterilized polyolefins in composting and microbial culture environments at different doses and γ-dose rates. It was concluded from the previous studies that the pretreatment of γ-irradiation can accelerate the biodegradation of neat polymer matrix in biotic conditions significantly. A similar work was carried out to study the stabilization of γ-sterilized polyolefins using different mixtures of stabilizers which are approved for food-contact applications. Ethylene-propylene (EP) copolymer has been melt-mixed with hindered amine stabilizers (HAS), phenolic antioxidants and hydroperoxide decomposers. Results were discussed by comparing the stabilizing efficiency, combination and consumption of stabilizers and the synergistic and antagonistic effects was explained through the interaction between the stabilizers. In this attempt, we have aimed to study the influence of the synergistic and antagonistic mixtures of oligomeric stabilizers on the biodegradation of the γ-irradiated polyolefins in composting and microbial culture. Neat and stabilized films of EP copolymer irradiated under γ-radiation and incubated in compost and fungal culture environments. The changes in functional groups, surface morphology, mechanical properties and intrinsic viscosity in polymer chains were characterized by FT-IR spectroscopy, SEM, instron, and viscometric measurements respectively. Results were discussed by comparing the effect of different stabilizers, stabilizers mixtures on the biodegradation of the γ-irradiated polyolefins. It was found that the biodegradation significantly depends on the components of stabilization system, mobility, interaction, and consumption of stabilizers.

Keywords: biodegradation, polyolefins, Stabilization, γ-irradiation

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24 Biodegradation of Cellulosic Materials by Marine Fungi Isolated from South Corniche of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Authors: Fuad Ameen, Mohamed Moslem, Sarfaraz Hadi


Twenty-eight fungal isolates belonging to 12 genera were derived from debris, sediment and water samples collected from Avicennia marina stands 25km south of Jeddah city on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia. Eight of these isolates were found to be able to grow in association cellulosic waste materials under in vitro conditions in the absence of any carbon source. Isolates were further tested for their potential to degrade paper and clothes wastes by co-cultivation under aeration on a rotary shaker. These fungi accumulated significantly higher biomass, produced ligninolytic and cellulase enzymes, and liberated larger volumes of CO2. These observations indicated that the selected isolates were able to break down and consume the waste materials.

Keywords: biodegradation, Waste Materials, Enzyme Activity, mangrove

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23 Study of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Biodegradation by Bacterial Isolated from Contaminated Soils

Authors: N. Messaadia, M. Houhamdi, Z. Abdessemed


The PAH (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) represent a persistent source of pollution for oil field soils. Their degradation, essentially dominated by the aerobic bacterial and fungal flora, exhibits certain aspects for remediation of these soils microbial oxygenases have, as their substrates, a large range of PAH. The variety and the performance of these enzymes allow the initiation of the biodegradation of any PAH through many different metabolic pathways. These pathways are very important for the recycling of the PAH in the biosphere, where substances supposed indigestible by living organisms are rapidly transformed into simples compounds, directly assimilated by the intermediate metabolism of other microorganisms.

Keywords: biodegradation, Metabolic Pathways, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, microbial oxygenases

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22 Comparative Analysis of Biodegradation on Polythene and Plastics Buried in Fadama Soil Amended With Organic and Inorganic Fertilizer

Authors: Baba John, Abdullahi Mohammed


The aim of this research is to compare the analysis of biodegradation on polythene and plastics buried in fadama soil amended with Organic and Inorganic fertilizer. Physico- chemical properties of the samples were determined. Bacteria and Fungi implicated in the biodegradation were identified and enumerated. Physico- chemical properties before the analysis indicated pH range of the samples from 4.28 – 5.80 , While the percentage Organic carbon and Organic matter was highest in cow dung samples with 3.89% and 6.69% respectively. The total Nitrogen percentage was recorded to be highest in Chicken dropping (0.68), while the availability of Phosphorus (P), Sodium (Na), Pottasium (K), and Magnessium (mg) was recorded to be highest in F – soil (Control), with values to be 37ppm, 1.63 Cmolkg-1, 0.35 Cmolkg-1 and 1.18 Cmolkg-1 respectively, except for calcium which was recorded to be highest in Cow dung (5.80 Cmolkg-1). However, physico – chemical properties of the samples after analysis indicated pH range of 4.6 – 5.80, Percentage Organic carbon and Organic matter was highest in Fadama soil mixed with fertilizer, having 0.7% and 1.2% respectively. Total Percentage Nitrogen content was found to be highest (0.56) in Fadama soil mixed with poultry dropping. Availability of Sodium (Na), Pottasium (K), and Calcium (Ca) was recorded to be highest in Fadama Soil mixed with Cow dung with values to be 0.64 Cmolkg-1, 2.07 Cmolkg-1 and 3.36 Cmolkg-1 respectively. The percentage weight loss of polythene and plastic bags after nine months in fadama soil mixed with poultry dropping was 11.9% for polythene and 6.0% for plastics. Weight loss in fadama soil mixed with cow dung was 18.1% for polythene and 4.7% for plastics. Weight loss of polythene and plastic in fadama soil mixed with fertilizer (NPK) was 7.4% for polythene and 3.3% for plastics. While, the percentage weight loss of polythene and plastics after nine months of burial in fadama soil (control) was 3.5% and 0.0% respectively. The bacteria species isolated from Fadama soil, organic and inorganic fertilizers before amendments include: S. aureus, Micrococcus sp, Streptococcus. pyogenes, Psuedomonas aeruginosa Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus cereus. The fungi species include: Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus flavus, Fusarium sp, Mucor sp Penicillium sp and Candida sp. The bacteria species isolated and characterized after nine months of seeding include: S. aureus, Micrococcus sp, S. pyogenes, P. aeruginosa and B. subtilis. The fungi species are: A. niger A. flavus, A. fumigatus, Mucor sp, Penicillium sp and Fusarium sp. The result of this study indicated that plastic materials can be degraded in the fadama soil irrespective of whether the soil is amended or not. The Period of composting also has a significant impact on the rate at which polythene and plastics are degraded.

Keywords: fertilizer, biodegradation, Fadama, plastic and polythene

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21 Bio Based Agro Textiles

Authors: K. Sakthivel


With the continuous increase in population worldwide, stress increased among agricultural peoples, so it is necessary to increase the yield of agro-products. But it is not possible to meet fully with the traditionally adopted ways of using pesticides and herbicides. Today, agriculture and horticulture has realized the need of tomorrow and opting for various technologies to get higher overall yield, quality agro-products. Most of today’s synthetic polymers are produced from petrochemical bi-products and are not biodegradable. Persistent polymers generate significant sources of environmental pollution, harming wildlife when they are disposed in nature. The disposal of non degradable plastic bags adversely affects human and wild life. Moreover incineration of plastic waste presents environmental issues as well, since it yields toxic emissions. Material incineration is also limited due to the difficulties to find accurate and economically viable outlets. In addition plastic recycling shows a negative eco balance due to the necessity in nearly all cases to wash the plastic waste as well as the energy consumption during the recycling process phases. As plastics represent a large part of the waste collection at the local regional and national levels institutions are aware of the significant savings that compostable or biodegradable materials would generate. Polylactic acid (PLA), which is one of the most important biocompatible polyesters that are derived from annually renewable biomass such as corn and wheat, has attracted much attention for automotive parts and also can be applied in agro textiles. The manufacturing method of PLA is the ring-opening polymerization of the dimeric cyclic ester of lactic acid, lactide. For the stereo complex PLA, we developed by the four unit processes, fermentation, separation, lactide conversion, and polymerization. Then the polymer is converted into mulching film and applied in agriculture field. PLA agro textiles have better tensile strength, tearing strength and with stand from UV rays than polyester agro textile and polypropylene-based products.

Keywords: Environment, Technical Textiles, biodegradation, PLA, mulching film

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20 Isolation and Molecular Identification of Two Fungal Strains Capable of Degrading hydrocarbon Contaminants on Saudi Arabian Environment

Authors: Amr A. El Hanafy, Yasir Anwar, Saleh A. Mohamed, Saleh Mohamed Saleh Al-Garni, Jamal S. M. Sabir, Osama A. H. Abu Zinadah, Mohamed Morsi Ahmed


In the vicinity of the red sea about 15 fungi species were isolated from oil contaminated sites. On the basis of aptitude to degrade the crude oil and DCPIP assay, two fungal isolates were selected amongst 15 oil degrading strains. Analysis of ITS-1, ITS-2 and amplicon pyrosequencing studies of fungal diversity revealed that these strains belong to Penicillium and Aspergillus species. Two strains that proved to be the most efficient in degrading crude oil was Aspergillus niger (54 %) and Penicillium commune (48 %) Subsequent to two weeks of cultivation in BHS medium the degradation rate were recorded by using spectrophotometer and GC-MS. Hence, it is cleared that these fungal strains has the capability of degradation and can be utilized for cleaning the Saudi Arabian environment.

Keywords: biodegradation, GC-MS, molecular identification, fungal strains, hydrocarbon contaminants

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19 Repeated Batch Cultivation: A Novel Empty and Fill Strategy for the Enhanced Production of a Biodegradable Polymer, Polyhydroxy Alkanoate by Alcaligenes latus

Authors: Geeta Gahlawat, Ashok Kumar Srivastava


In the present study, a simple drain and fill protocol strategy of repeated batch was adopted for enhancement in polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) production using alcaligenes latus DSM 1124. Repeated batch strategy helped in increasing the longevity of otherwise decaying culture in the bioreactor by supplementing fresh substrates during each cycle of repeated-batch. The main advantages of repeated batch are its ease of operation, enhancement of culture stability towards contamination, minimization of pre-culture effects and maintenance of organism at high growth rates. The cultivation of A. latus was carried out in 7 L bioreactor containing 4 L optimized nutrient medium and a comparison with the batch mode fermentation was done to evaluate the performance of repeated batch in terms of PHAs accumulation and productivity. The statistically optimized medium recipe consisted of: 25 g/L Sucrose, 2.8 g/L (NH4)2SO4, 3.25 g/L KH2PO4, 3.25 g/L Na2HPO4, 0.2 g/L MgSO4, 1.5 mL/L trace element solution. In this strategy, 20% (v/v) of the culture broth was removed from the reactor and supplemented with an equal volume of fresh medium when sucrose concentration inside the reactor decreased below 8 g/L. The fermenter was operated for three repeated batch cycles and fresh nutrient feeding was done at 27 h, 48 h, and 60 h. Repeated batch operation resulted in a total biomass of 27.89 g/L and PHAs concentration 20.55 g/L at the end of 69 h which was a marked improvement as compared to batch cultivation (8.71 g/L biomass and 6.24 g/L PHAs). This strategy demonstrated 3.3 fold and 1.8 fold increase in PHAs concentration and volumetric productivity, respectively as compared to batch cultivation. Repeated batch cultivation strategy had also the benefit of avoiding non-productive time period required for cleaning, refilling and sterilization of bioreactor, thereby increasing the overall volumetric productivity and making the entire process cost-effective too.

Keywords: biodegradation, polyhydroxyalkanoates, alcaligenes, repeated batch

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18 Bioremediation of Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCBS) Contaminated Soils: A Case Study from Rietvlei Farm at Borehole No. 11, Limpopo Province, South Africa

Authors: D. Sengani, N. Potgieter, P. E. L. Mojapelo


Three bacteria species which comprise of Gram negative and Gram positive microorganisms were isolated and identified on the basis of morpho-cultural study, catalase tests, oxidase tests and biochemical characteristics were found belonging to different genera including Burkholderia cepacia, Pasteurella pneumotropica and Enterococcus faecalis. The main objective of this study was to isolate and identify PCB degrading bacteria from PCB contaminated soils and test them for their degradation ability of PCBs in natural habitat conditions. The results indicated an overall decrease of PCB concentration level with the gradient average ranging from 1.5 to 1.8 respectively. Enterococcus faecalis removed as much as 32% of PCBs in the contaminated soil samples. Whereas Pasteurella pneumotropica could remove 24% of PCBs, Burkholderia cepacia 21% of PCBs and the mixed culture removed 23%. Data showed that the three bacterial strains could tolerate high concentration of PCBs. The results provided the evidence that naturally occurring bacteria in soil contaminated with PCBs have the potential to degrade PCBs. Statistical analysis showed that there was a significant positive correlation between bacteria growth and treatment with a coefficient of (r) =0.1459 and p value < 0.001.

Keywords: Bioremediation, biodegradation, Bacteria, bioaccumulation, polychlorinated biphenyls

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17 Degradation of Endosulfan in Different Soils by Indigenous and Adapted Microorganisms

Authors: A. Özyer, N. G. Turan, Y. Ardalı


The environmental fate of organic contaminants in soils is influenced significantly by the pH, texture of soil, water content and also presence of organic matter. In this study, biodegradation of endosulfan isomers was studied in two different soils (Soil A and Soil B) that have contrasting properties in terms of their texture, pH, organic content, etc. Two Nocardia sp., which were isolated from soil, were used for degradation of endosulfan. Soils were contaminated with commercial endosulfan. Six sets were maintained from two different soils, contaminated with different endosulfan concentrations for degradation experiments. Inoculated and uninoculated mineral media with Nocardia isolates were added to the soils and mixed. Soils were incubated at a certain temperature (30 °C) during ten weeks. Residue endosulfan and its metabolites’ concentrations were determined weekly during the incubation period. The changes of the soil microorganisms were investigated weekly.

Keywords: biodegradation, endosulfan, Nocardia sp. soil, organochlorine pesticide

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16 Biodegradation Effects onto Source Identification of Diesel Fuel Contaminated Soils

Authors: Colin S. Chen, Chien-Jung Tien, Hsin-Jan Huang


For weathering studies, the change of chemical constituents by biodegradation effect in diesel-contaminated soils are important factors to be considered, especially when there is a prolonged period of weathering processes. The objective was to evaluate biodegradation effects onto hydrocarbon fingerprinting and distribution patterns of diesel fuels, fuel source screening and differentiation, source-specific marker compounds, and diagnostic ratios of diesel fuel constituents by laboratory and field studies. Biodegradation processes of diesel contaminated soils were evaluated by experiments lasting for 15 and 12 months, respectively. The degradation of diesel fuel in top soils was affected by organic carbon content and biomass of microorganisms in soils. Higher depletion of total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH), n-alkanes, and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and their alkyl homologues was observed in soils containing higher organic carbon content and biomass. Decreased ratio of selected isoprenoids (i.e., pristane (Pr) and phytane (Ph)) including n-C17/pristane and n-C18/phytane was observed. The ratio of pristane/phytane was remained consistent for a longer period of time. At the end of the experimental period, a decrease of pristane/phytane was observed. Biomarker compounds of bicyclic sesquiterpanes (BS) were less susceptible to the effects of biodegradation. The ratios of characteristic factors such as C15 sesquiterpane/ 8β(H)-drimane (BS3/BS5), C15 sesquiterpane/ 8β(H)-drimane (BS4/BS5), 8β(H)-drimane/8β(H)-homodrimane (BS5/BS10), and C15 sesquiterpane/8β(H)-homodrimane (BS3/BS10) could be adopted for source identification of diesel fuels in top soil. However, for biodegradation processes lasted for six months but shorter than nine months, only BS3/BS5 and BS3/BS10 could be distinguished in two diesel fuels. In subsoil experiments (contaminated soil located 50 cm below), the ratios of characteristic factors including BS3/BS5, BS4/BS5, and BS5/BS10 were valid for source identification of two diesel fuels for nine month biodegradation. At the early stage of contamination, biomass of soil decreased significantly. However, 6 and 7 dominant species were found in soils in top soil experiments, respectively. With less oxygen and nutrients in subsoil, less biomass of microorganisms was observed in subsoils. Only 2 and 4 diesel-degrading species of microorganisms were identified in two soils, respectively. Parameters of double ratio such as fluorene/C1-fluorene: C2-phenanthrene/C3-phenanthrene (C0F/C1F:C2P/C3P) in both top and subsoil, C2-naphthalene/C2-phenanthrene: C1-phenanthrene/C3-phenanthrene (C2N/C2P:C1P/C3P), and C1-phenanthrene/C1-fluorene: C3-naphthalene/C3-phenanthrene (C1P/C1F:C3N/C3P) in subsoil could serve as forensic indicators in diesel contaminated sites. BS3/BS10:BS4/BS5 could be used in 6 to 9 months of biodegradation processes. Results of principal component analysis (PCA) indicated that source identification of diesel fuels in top soil could only be perofrmed for weathering process less than 6 months. For subsoil, identification can be conducted for weathering process less than 9 months. Ratio of isoprenoids (pristane and phytane) and PAHs might be affected by biodegradation in spilled sites. The ratios of bicyclic sesquiterpanes could serve as forensic indicators in diesel-contaminated soils. Finally, source identification was attemped for samples collected from different fuel contaminated sites by using the unique pattern of sesquiterpanes. It was anticipated that the information generated from this study would be adopted by decision makers to evaluate the liability of cleanup in diesel contaminated sites.

Keywords: biodegradation, diagnostic ratio, diesel fuel, environmental forensics

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15 Study of Petroleum Hydrocarbons Biodegradation and the Role of Biosurfactants Produced by Bacteria Isolated from the Lagoon of Mar Chica in This Process

Authors: Ikram Kamal, Mohamed Blaghen


Petroleum hydrocarbons are serious problems and global pollutants in the environment due to their toxicity, carcinogenicity and persistent organic pollutant properties. One of the approaches to enhance biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons is to use biosurfactant. Biosurfactants are amphiphilic biomolecules produced as metabolic by-products from microorganisms they received considerable attention in the field of environmental remediation processes such as bioremediation. Biosurfactants have been considered as a desirable alternative to synthetic surfactants in various applications particularly in the environmental field. In comparison with their synthetic counterparts, biosurfactants have been reported to be less toxic, biodegradable and persistent. In this study we have investigated the potential of bacterial strains collected aseptically from the lagoon Marchika (water and soil) in Nador, Morocco; for the production of biosurfactants. This study also aimed to optimize the biosurfactant production process by changing the variables that influence the type and amount of biosurfactant produced by these microorganisms such as: carbon sources and also other physical and chemical parameters such as temperature and pH. Emulsification index, methylene blue test and thin layer chromatography (TLC) revealed the ability of strains used in this study to produce compounds that could emulsify gasoline. In addition, a HPLC/MS was used to separate and identify different biosurfactants purified.

Keywords: biodegradation, Petroleum Hydrocarbons, biosurfactants, lagoon Marchika, emulsification index

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14 Combining Bio-Molecular and Isotopic Tools to Determine the Fate of Halogenated Compounds in Polluted Groundwater

Authors: N. Balaban, A. Buernstein, F. Gelman, Z. Ronen


Brominated flame retardants are widespread pollutants, and are known to be toxic, carcinogenic, endocrinic disrupting as well as recalcitrant. The industrial complex Neot Hovav, in the Northern Negev, Israel, is situated above a fractured chalk aquitard, which is polluted by a wide variety of halogenated organic compounds. Two of the abundant pollutants found in the site are Dibromoneopentyl-glycol (DBNPG) and tribromoneopentyl-alcohol (TBNPA). Due to the elusive nature of the groundwater flow, it is difficult to connect between the spatial changes in contaminant concentrations to degradation. In this study, we attempt to determine whether these compounds are biodegraded in the groundwater, and to gain a better understanding concerning the bacterial community in the groundwater. This was achieved through the application of compound-specific isotope analysis (CSIA) of carbon (13^C/12^C) and bromine (81^Br/79^Br), and new-generation MiSeq pyrosequencing. The sampled boreholes were distributed among three main areas of the industrial complex: around the production plant of TBNPA and DBNPG; along the Hovav Wadi (small ephemeral stream) which crosses and drains the industrial complex; and downstream to the industrial area. TBNPA and DBNPG are found in all three areas, with no clear connection to the proximity of the borehole to the production plant. Initial isotopic data of TBNPA from boreholes in the area surrounding the production plant, reveal no changes in the carbon and bromine isotopic values. When observing the microbial groundwater community, the dominant phylum is Proteobacteria. Known anaerobic dehalogenating bacteria such as Dehalococcoides from the Chloroflexi phylum have also been detected. A statistical comparison of the groundwater microbial diversity using a multi-variant ordination of non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) reveals three main clusters in accordance to spatial location in the industrial complex: all the boreholes sampled adjacent to the production plant cluster together and separately from the Wadi Hovav boreholes cluster and the downstream to the industrial area borehole cluster. This work provides the basis for the development and implication of an isotopic fractionation based tool for assessing the biodegradation of brominated organic compounds in contaminated environments, and a novel attempt to characterize the spatial microbial diversity in the contaminated site.

Keywords: Groundwater, biodegradation, Microbial diversity, brominated flame retardants, isotopic fractionation

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13 Biodegradation Study of Diethyl Phthalate Using Bacteria Isolated from Plastic Industry Wastewater Discharge Site

Authors: Sangram Shamrao Patil, Hara Mohan Jena


Phthalates are among the most common organic pollutant since they have become widespread in the environment and found in sediments, natural waters, soils, plants, landfill leachates, biota including human tissue and aquatic organisms. Diethyl phthalate (DEP) is a low molecular weight phthalate which has wide applications as plasticizer and become a major cause of environmental pollution. Environmental protection agency (EPA) listed DEP as priority pollutant because of its toxicity and they recommended human health ambient water quality criterion for diethyl phthalate (DEP) as 4 mg/l. Therefore, wastes containing phthalates require proper treatment before being discharged into the environment. Biodegradation is attractive and efficient treatment method as it is cost effective and produces non-toxic end products. In the present study, a DEP degrading aerobic bacterium was isolated from soil contaminated with plastic industry wastewater. Morphological and biochemical characteristics of isolate were performed. 16S rRNA sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of isolate was carried out and it was identified as Empedobacter brevis. Isolate has been found to tolerate up to 1650 mg/l of DEP. This study will be significant for exploring an application of microbes for remediation of phthalates and development of a suitable bioreactor.

Keywords: biodegradation, pollutant, plasticizer, diethyl phthalate

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12 Isolation of a Bacterial Community with High Removal Efficiencies of the Insecticide Bendiocarb

Authors: Deifilia Ahuatzi-Chacón, Eusebio A. Jiménez-Arévalo, Juvencio Galíndez-Mayer, Cleotilde Juárez-Ramírez, Nora Ruiz-Ordaz


Bendiocarb is a known toxic xenobiotic that presents acute and chronic risks for freshwater invertebrates and estuarine and marine biota; thus, the treatment of water contaminated with the insecticide is of concern. In this paper, a bacterial community with the capacity to grow in bendiocarb as its sole carbon and nitrogen source was isolated by enrichment techniques in batch culture, from samples of a composting plant located in the northeast of Mexico City. Eight cultivable bacteria were isolated from the microbial community, by PCR amplification of 16 rDNA; Pseudoxanthomonas spadix (NC_016147.2, 98%), Ochrobacterium anthropi (NC_009668.1, 97%), Staphylococcus capitis (NZ_CP007601.1, 99%), Bosea thiooxidans. (NZ_LMAR01000067.1, 99%), Pseudomonas denitrificans. (NC_020829.1, 99%), Agromyces sp. (NZ_LMKQ01000001.1, 98%), Bacillus thuringiensis. (NC_022873.1, 97%), Pseudomonas alkylphenolia (NZ_CP009048.1, 98%). NCBI accession numbers and percentage of similarity are indicated in parentheses. These bacteria were regarded as the isolated species for having the best similarity matches. The ability to degrade bendiocarb by the immobilized bacterial community in a packed bed biofilm reactor, using as support volcanic stone fragments (tezontle), was evaluated. The reactor system was operated in batch using mineral salts medium and 30 mg/L of bendiocarb as carbon and nitrogen source. With this system, an overall removal efficiency (ηbend) rounding 90%, was reached.

Keywords: biodegradation, biofilm reactor, bendiocarb, carbamate insecticide

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11 Biodegradation of Endoxifen in Wastewater: Isolation and Identification of Bacteria Degraders, Kinetics, and By-Products

Authors: Marina Arino Martin, John McEvoy, Eakalak Khan


Endoxifen is an active metabolite responsible for the effectiveness of tamoxifen, a chemotherapeutic drug widely used for endocrine responsive breast cancer and chemo-preventive long-term treatment. Tamoxifen and endoxifen are not completely metabolized in human body and are actively excreted. As a result, they are released to the water environment via wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). The presence of tamoxifen in the environment produces negative effects on aquatic lives due to its antiestrogenic activity. Because endoxifen is 30-100 times more potent than tamoxifen itself and also presents antiestrogenic activity, its presence in the water environment could result in even more toxic effects on aquatic lives compared to tamoxifen. Data on actual concentrations of endoxifen in the environment is limited due to recent discovery of endoxifen pharmaceutical activity. However, endoxifen has been detected in hospital and municipal wastewater effluents. The detection of endoxifen in wastewater effluents questions the treatment efficiency of WWTPs. Studies reporting information about endoxifen removal in WWTPs are also scarce. There was a study that used chlorination to eliminate endoxifen in wastewater. However, an inefficient degradation of endoxifen by chlorination and the production of hazardous disinfection by-products were observed. Therefore, there is a need to remove endoxifen from wastewater prior to chlorination in order to reduce the potential release of endoxifen into the environment and its possible effects. The aim of this research is to isolate and identify bacteria strain(s) capable of degrading endoxifen into less hazardous compound(s). For this purpose, bacteria strains from WWTPs were exposed to endoxifen as a sole carbon and nitrogen source for 40 days. Bacteria presenting positive growth were isolated and tested for endoxifen biodegradation. Endoxifen concentration and by-product formation were monitored. The Monod kinetic model was used to determine endoxifen biodegradation rate. Preliminary results of the study suggest that isolated bacteria from WWTPs are able to growth in presence of endoxifen as a sole carbon and nitrogen source. Ongoing work includes identification of these bacteria strains and by-product(s) of endoxifen biodegradation.

Keywords: wastewater, biodegradation, bacterial degraders, endoxifen

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10 Biodegradation of Carbamazepine and Diclofenac by Bacterial Strain Labrys Portucalensis

Authors: P. M. L. Castro, V. S. Bessa, I. S. Moreira, S. Murgolo, C. Piccirillo, G. Mascolo


The occurrence of pharmaceuticals in the environment has been a topic of increasing concern. Pharmaceuticals are not completely mineralized in the human body and are released on the sewage systems as the pharmaceutical itself and as their “biologically active” metabolites through excretion, as well as by improper elimination and disposal. Conventional wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are not designed to remove these emerging pollutants and they are thus released into the environment. The antiepileptic drug carbamazepine (CBZ) and the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory diclofenac (DCF) are two widely used pharmaceuticals, frequently detected in water bodies, including rivers and groundwater, in concentrations ranging from ng L 1 to mg L 1. These two compounds were classified as medium to high-risk pollutants in WWTP effluents and surface waters. Also, CBZ has been suggested as a molecular marker of wastewater contamination in surface water and groundwater and the European Union included DCF in the watch list of substances Directive to be monitored. In the present study, biodegradation of CBZ and DCF by the bacterial strain Labrys portucalensis F11, a strain able to degrade other pharmaceutical compounds, was assessed; tests were performed with F11 as single carbon and energy source, as well as in presence of 5.9mM of sodium acetate. In assays supplemented with 2.0 and 4.0 µM of CBZ, the compound was no longer detected in the bulk medium after 24hr and 5days, respectively. Complete degradation was achieved in 21 days for 11.0 µM and in 23 days for 21.0 µM. For the highest concentration tested (43.0 µM), 95% of degradation was achieved in 30days. Supplementation with acetate increased the degradation rate of CBZ, for all tested concentrations. In the case of DCF, when supplemented as a single carbon source, approximately 70% of DCF (1.7, 3.3, 8.4, 17.5 and 34.0 µM) was degraded in 30days. Complete degradation was achieved in the presence of acetate for all tested concentrations, at higher degradation rates. The detection of intermediates produced during DCF biodegradation was performed by UPLC-QTOF/MS/MS, which allowed the identification of a range of metabolites. Stoichiometric liberation of chorine occurred and no metabolites were detected at the end of the biodegradation assays suggesting a complete mineralization of DCF. Strain Labrys portucalensis F11 proved to be able to degrade these two top priority environmental contaminants and may be potentially useful for biotechnological applications/environment remediation.

Keywords: Pharmaceuticals, biodegradation, diclofenac, carbamazepine

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9 Biodegradation of 2,4-Dichlorophenol by Pseudomonas chlororaphis Strain Isolated from Activated Sludge Sample from a Wastewater Treatment Plant in Durban, South Africa

Authors: Boitumelo Setlhare, Mduduzi P. Mokoena, Ademola O. Olaniran


Agricultural and industrial activities have led to increasing production of xenobiotics such as 2,4-dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP), a derivative of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), which is a widely used herbicide. Bioremediation offers an efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly method for degradation of the compound through the activities of the various microbial enzymes involved in the catabolic pathway. The aim of this study was to isolate and characterize bacterial isolate indigenous to contaminated sites in Durban, South Africa for 2,4-DCP degradation. One bacterium capable of utilizing 2,4-DCP as sole carbon source was isolated using culture enrichment technique and identified as Pseudomonas chlororaphis strain UFB2 via PCR amplification and analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequence. This isolate was able to degrade up to 75.11% of 2,4-DCP in batch cultures within 10 days, with the degradation rate constant of 0.14 mg/l/d. Phylogenetic analysis revealed the relatedness of this bacterial isolate to other Pseudomonas sp. previously characterized for chlorophenol degradation. PCR amplification of the catabolic genes involved in 2,4-DCP degradation revealed the presence of the correct amplicons for phenol hydroxylase (600 bp), catechol 1,2-dioxygenase (214 bp), muconate isomerase (851 bp), cis-dienelactone hydrolase (577 bp), and trans-dienelactone hydrolase (491 bp) genes. Enzyme assays revealed activity as high as 21840 mU/mg, 15630 mU/mg, 2340 mU/mg and 1490 mU/mg obtained for phenol hydroxylase, catechol 1,2-dioxygenase, cis-dienelactone hydroxylase and trans-dienelactone hydroxylase, respectively. The absence of catechol 2,3-dioxygenase gene and the corresponding enzyme in this isolate suggests that the organism followed ortho-pathway for 2,4-DCP degradation. Furthermore, the absence of malaycetate reductase genes showed that the bacterium may not be able to completely mineralize 2,4-DCP. Further studies are required to optimize 2,4-DCP degradation by this isolate as well as to elucidate the mechanism of 2,4-DCP degradation.

Keywords: biodegradation, catechol 1, phenol hydroxylase, Pseudomonas chlororaphis

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8 Nanosilver Containing Biodegradable Bionanocomposites for Antimicrobial Application: Design, Preparation and Study

Authors: Nino Kupatadze, David Tugushi, Ramaz Katsarava, Mzevinar Bedinashvili, Shorena Tskhadadze


Surgical device-associated infection and biofilm formation are some of the major problems in biomedicine for today. The losing protection ability of conventional antimicrobial-drugs leads to the challenges in the current antibiotic therapy, the most serious of which is antibiotic resistance. Our strategy to overcome the biofilm formation consists in coating devices with polymeric film containing nanosilver(AgNPs) as a bactericidal agent. Such bionanocomposites are also promising as wound dressing materials. For this purpose, we have developed a new generation of AgNPs containing polymeric composites in which amino acid based biodegradable poly(ester amide)s (PEAs) were served as both matrices and AgNPs stabilizers. The AgNPs were formed by photochemical (daylight) reduction of AgNO3 in ethanol solution. The formation of AgNPs was monitored by coloring the solution in brownish-red and appearance of the absorption maximum at 420-430 nm in UV spectrum. Comparative studies of PEAs with polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) as particle stabilizers were carried out. It was found that PVP is better stabilizer in terms of particles yield and stability. Therefore, in subsequent experiments blends of PEAs and PVP were used as stabilizers for fabricating AgNPs. As expected, PVP increased the stabilizing effect and this apparently observed in the UV spectrum of the samples after 7 h daylight irradiation: for pure PVP λmax = 430 nm, D = 2.03, for pure PEA λmax= 420 nm, D = 0.65, and for the blend of PVP and PEA λmax = 435 nm, D = 1.88. Further study of the obtained nanobiocomposites is in progress now.

Keywords: Polymer, biodegradation, bionanocompositions, nanosilver

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7 Poly(L-Lactic Acid) Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Engineering

Authors: Aleksandra BužArovska, Gordana Bogoeva Gaceva


Biodegradable polymers have received significant scientific attention in tissue engineering (TE) application, in particular their composites consisting of inorganic nanoparticles. In the last 15 years, they are subject of intensive research by many groups, aiming to develop polymer scaffolds with defined biodegradability, porosity and adequate mechanical stability. The most important characteristic making these materials attractive for TE is their biodegradability, a process that could be time controlled and long enough to enable generation of a new tissue as a replacement for the degraded polymer scaffold. In this work poly(L-lactic acid) scaffolds, filled with TiO2 nanoparticles functionalized with oleic acid, have been prepared by thermally induced phase separation method (TIPS). The functionalization of TiO2 nanoparticles with oleic acid was performed in order to improve the nanoparticles dispersibility within the polymer matrix and at the same time to inhibit the cytotoxicity of the nanofiller. The oleic acid was chosen as amphiphilic molecule belonging to the fatty acid family because of its non-toxicity and possibility for mediation between the hydrophilic TiO2 nanoparticles and hydrophobic PLA matrix. The produced scaffolds were characterized with thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and mechanical compression measurements. The bioactivity for bone tissue engineering application was tested in supersaturated simulated body fluid. The degradation process was followed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The results showed anisotropic morphology with elongated open pores (100 µm), high porosity (around 92%) and perfectly dispersed nanofiller. The compression moduli up to 10 MPa were identified independent on the nanofiller content. Functionalized TiO2 nanoparticles induced formation of hydroxyapatite clusters as much as unfunctionalized TiO2. The prepared scaffolds showed properties ideal for scaffold vascularization, cell attachment, growth and proliferation.

Keywords: biodegradation, Bone Tissue Engineering, Mineralization, PLA scaffolds

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6 Effects of Indole on Aerobic Biodegradation of Butanoic Acid by Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Serratia marcescens

Authors: J. B. J. Njalam’mano, E. M. N. Chirwa


In low resource settings in Africa and other developing regions, pit latrines remain the dominant basic minimum acceptable form of sanitation. However, unpleasant smells-malodours emitted from faecal sludge in the pit latrines, which elicit disgusting or repulsive response, are one of the factors that thwart people to use latrines and instead opt for open defecation as an alternative. This provides an important but often overlooked major impediment, dissuading people from adopting and using the pit latrines hence affecting successful, effective sanitation promotion. The malodours are primarily attributed to four odorants: butanoic acid (C₄H₈O₂), dimethyl trisulphide (C₂H₆S₃), indole (C₈H₇N) and para-cresol (C₇H₈O). Several pit latrine deodorisation methods such as addition of carbonous materials, use of ventilation systems and urine separation are available, and they continue to occupy their niche, but social, economic, environmental and technological shortfalls remain. Bioremediation has been gaining popularity because it is inexpensive, simple to operate and environmentally friendly. Recently, the biodegradation of butanoic acid as individual odorant has been studied. However, to the best of our knowledge, there have been no kinetic studies of the butanoic acid in the presence of other key odorous compounds. In this study, a series of experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of indole on the removal of butanoic acid under aerobic conditions using indigenous bacteria strains, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Serratia marcescens isolated from faecal sludge as pure cultures as well as mixed cultures. In this purpose, butanoic acid removal was performed in a batch reactor containing the bacterial strains in mineral salt medium (MSM) amended with 3000 ppm of butanoic acid at the temperature of 30°C, under continuous stirring rate of 150 rpm and the concentration of indole was varied from 50-200 ppm. The initial pH of the solution was in the range of 6.0-7.2. Overall, there were significant differences in the bacterial growth rate and total butanoic acid removal dependent on the concentration of indole in the solution.

Keywords: biodegradation, indole, butanoic acid, pit latrine

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