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Water Sci Technol. 2012;66(3):594-602. doi: 10.2166/wst.2012.217.

Efficient biodegradation of naphthalene by a newly characterized indigenous Achromobacter sp. FBHYA2 isolated from Tehran Oil Refinery Complex.

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Department of Environmental Engineering, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.


A bacterial strain, FBHYA2, capable of degrading naphthalene, was isolated from the American Petroleum Institute (API) separator of the Tehran Oil Refinery Complex (TORC). Strain FBHYA2 was identified as Achromobacter sp. based on physiological and biochemical characteristics and also phylogenetic similarity of 16S rRNA gene sequence. The optimal growth conditions for strain FBHYA2 were pH 6.0, 30 °C and 1.0% NaCl. Strain FBHYA2 can utilize naphthalene as the sole source of carbon and energy and was able to degrade naphthalene aerobically very fast, 48 h for 96% removal at 500 mg/L concentration. The physiological response of Achromobacter sp., FBHYA2 to several hydrophobic chemicals (aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons) was also investigated. No biosurfactant was detected during bacterial growth on any aliphatic/aromatic hydrocarbons. The results of hydrophobicity measurements showed no significant difference between naphthalene- and LB-grown cells. The capability of the strain FBHYA2 to degrade naphthalene completely and rapidly without the need to secrete biosurfactant may make it an ideal candidate to remediate polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-contaminated sites.

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