ISOLATION OF FUNGI FROM OIL-CONTAMINATED SOIL FROM MAYSAN PROVINCE, SOUTHERN IRAQAhmed R. Mossa and Ali A. Kasim
Maysan province is one of the most important oil-producing provinces in Iraq, therefore, soil contamination as a result of extraction and processing of the oil is one of the most important environmental problems for the soil and the living organisms present in it. Twenty-seven of fungal species were isolated and identified from soil contaminated with crude oil. Among them, 24 species (88.8%.) belonged to Ascomycota (anamorphs stages) and three (11.2%) Zygomycota. A total of 235 isolates were recovered from sites of study. Aspergillus showed a high number of species (6) and 78 isolates, followed by Alternaria (4 species, 64 isolates). Aspergillus niger has the highest occurrence and frequency values (42.5% and 21.70% respectively) and 51 isolates, and Alternaria alternate (39.16%, 20% and 47 isolates), followed by Rhizopus oryzae with a frequency and occurrence of 17.5% and 8.93% respectively and 21 isolates, on other hand, 8 species revealed the lowest occurrence and frequency reaching 0.83%, 0.42 respectively. Eight species were isolated described as new records from Iraq, which are Alternaria tenuissima, Bibolaris australiensis, Curvularia lunata, Nigrospora oryzae, Rhizopus oryzae, Stachybotrys chartrum, Syncephalastrum racemosum and Ulocladium botrytis. The biodiversity of fungi isolated from oil-contaminated soil was compared with previous studies. Brief descriptions of the new recorded fungi were given.