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Can J Microbiol. 1998 Mar;44(3):270-8.

Degradation of hydrocarbons in crude oil by the ascomycete Pseudallescheria boydii (Microascaceae).

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


Four unique strains of Pseudallescheria boydii were isolated from oil-soaked soils in British Columbia and Alberta and compared to strains from cattle dung and raw sewage. Considerable variability in morphology, colony appearance, colony diameter, and temperature tolerance occurred among the strains. They also varied in the sporogenous states produced in culture; all strains had a Scedosporium anamorph and either the Graphium anamorph or cleistothecial teleomorph. Conspecificity of the six isolates was inferred from their morphology and supported by restriction fragment length polymorphism profiles of the internally transcribed spacer region of rDNA and comparing these to Petriella sordida, a similar taxon in the Microascaceae. Three of the strains isolated from oil-contaminated soil and the strain from sewage were tested for their ability to utilize hydrocarbons by incubation with Prudhoe Bay Crude oil as the sole carbon source. Gas chromatographic analysis of the residual oil revealed that the strains isolated from oil-contaminated soil degraded the linear aliphatics. The strain from sewage, previously shown by others to utilize the volatile n-alkanes (i.e., ethane, propane, and butane), did not utilize the liquid saturate compounds. None of the strains was observed to degrade compounds in the aromatic fraction. Pseudallescheria boydii may be an important agent for in situ bioremediation of saturates in oil-contaminated sites.

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