Isolation and characterization of hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria from gas station leaking-contaminated groundwater in the Southern Amazon, Brazil

Abstract Twenty-three hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria strains were isolated from gas station leaking-contaminated groundwater located in the Southern Amazon, Brazil. Based on hydrocarbon (diesel, hexadecane, benzene, toluene and xylene) degradation ability, two strains were selected for further study. The amplification and sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene showed that these two strains belonged to the genus Bacillus (Bacillus sp. L26 and Bacillus sp. L30). GC-MS analysis showed that strain L30 was the most effective in degrading n-alkane (C10-C27) from diesel after 7 days of cultivation in mineral medium. Both strains produced biosurfactants and showed emulsification activity, specially the strain L30. Alkane hydroxylase gene (group III), which is important for alkane biodegradation, was present in strains. As a result, this study indicated that these bacteria could have promising applications in hydrocarbon bioremediation.