International Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 3 Issue 4 2013- January 2013    Pages: 1242-1252  <<Previous    Next>>

Degradation of Anthracene by a novel strain Brachybacterium paraconglomeratum BMIT637C (MTCC 9445)

Author Information:

Madhuri K. Lily, Ashutosh Bahuguna, Kamlesh Kumar Bhatt, Koushalya Dangwal

Department of Biotechnology, Modern Institute of Technology (MIT), Dhalwala, Rishikesh-249201, Uttarakhand, India


Anthracene, a tricyclic aromatic hydrocarbon causes many problems associated with health and environmental impact. It results from incomplete combustion of fuels present in automobiles and found in high concentrations in the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-contaminated sediments, surface soils & waste sites. Anthracene serves as a signature compound to detect PAH contamination, since its chemical structure is found in carcinogenic PAHs. Therefore, the present study aimed to isolate bacteria capable of utilizing anthracene as the sole source of carbon and energy.

Pure culture of bacterial strain BMIT637C was isolated from automobile contaminated soil using basal salt mineral (BSM) medium supplemented with anthracene (0.5mg/ml) as the sole source of carbon and energy. The bacterial strain was identified and characterized on the basis of morphology, staining reactions, biochemical tests and 16 S rDNA analysis. Two parameters were used to characterize the anthracene degradation activity of BMIT637C, first the study of anthracene biodegradation kinetics by assessment of anthracene byproducts through high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and second, the effect of anthracene on the viability of BMIT637C was analyzed by Colony Forming Units (CFU)/ml measurement method.

The bacterial strain BMIT637C was identified and characterized as Brachybacterium paraconglomeratum BMIT637C (MTCC 9445). The HPLC revealed BMIT637Cas the efficient degrader ofanthracene being capable of degrading 70.32 % of anthracene within 10 days showing 2x1045-fold increase in the CFU number that indicated anthracene utilization as a sole source of carbon and energy. Hence, Brachybacterium paraconglomeratum BMIT637C (MTCC 9445) is able to degrade anthracene very efficiently and could serve as better candidate for bioremediation of PAHs contaminated sites.

Keywords: Anthracene, Bioremediation, Brachybacterium paraconglomeratum strain BMIT637C (MTCC9445), CFU/ml, PAHs


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