Brazilian Journal of Biological Sciences (ISSN 2358-2731)

Home Archive v. 3, no. 6 (2016) Zafar


Vol. 3, No. 6, p. 285-292 - Dec. 31, 2016


Isolation and preliminary screening of biosurfactant producing bacteria from oil contaminated soil

Sidra Zafar , Amna Shafiq , Sayyada Ghufrana Nadeem and Shazia Tabassum Hakim

Biosurfactants have become a potential alternative to synthetic surfactants due to their low toxicity, safety, specificity, biodegradability etc. Biosurfactants are known to reduce surface tension of both aqueous solutions and hydrocarbon mixtures. The aim of present study was to isolate and screen the biosurfactant producing bacteria from oil contaminated soil. For this purpose, soil sample was collected from oil contaminated site. The isolated bacteria from the soil sample were identified on the basis of phenotypic characteristics. These isolates were further screened for biosurfactant production by hemolytic test, emulsification test (E24), oil spread method (OSM), and modified drop collapse (MDC) method. The isolates identified were Salmonella sp (12.5%), Enterobacter sp (12.5%), Streptococci sp (12.5%), Pseudomonas sp (25%) and Klebsiella sp (37.5%). The screening results demonstrated that 25% of the isolates exhibited hemolytic activity, 87.5% isolates showed emulsification and oil spread activity while 100% of the isolates displayed modified drop collapse activity. However the best isolate identified for biosurfactant production was Pseudomonas sp, as it was observed to be positive for all the screening tests. The results suggested that these isolates have potential for hydrocarbon degradation and they can further be used in future for biosurfactant extraction, in bioremediation and other applications.

Biosurfactant; Drop collapse; Emulsification; Hydrocarbon degradation.


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