ISOLATION AND IDENTIFICATION OF BACTERIA WITH BIOREMEDIATION POTENTIAL OF OIL SPILLS IN LAKE NAKURU, KENYALUCY WANJOHI, LIZZY MWAMBURI, EMILY TOO, BECKY ALOO AND JANET KOSGEI
Although the role of bacteria in all spheres of humanity has been documented, new challenges are emerging with researchers querying the importance that bacteria could play. Moreover, some ecosystems especially the alkaline lakes are known to be rich in microbes that are a potential solution to the emerging challenges. One such new challenge is the management of non-bio-degradable fossil fuel products within the agri-ecosystems and natural environment. Microbes with enzymes capable of degrading such products have been isolated in some of the saline lakes in Kenya. Studies on bacterial ecology of Lake Nakuru have not been well covered. The high demand of energy from fossil fuels results in accidental and associated petroleum oil spills which results in ecological risks and long term environmental disturbance. The waters of Lake Nakuru may be rich in halophilic bacteria capable of degrading such pollutants. The aim of the study was to determine bacteria biodiversity in Lake Nakuru and their potential utilization in oil spill bioremediation on agricultural land and marine environment. Water samples were collected in five selected points that reflected different catchment areas. Sampling was done from a boat on a monthly basis for six months consecutively from December 2010 to May 2011. Three water samples of 500 ml were collected at each site at ten centimeters depth. Serial dilution, culturing and isolation of bacteria were done. Identification was through physical characterization and biochemical tests. Twenty-one bacteria isolates were identified. Oil degradation was determined by greasy spot test. Bacteria identified as having high potential in oil bioremediation management includes Providencia rettgeri, Morganella morganii, Tatumella ptyseas, Bacillus anthracoides, Chryseobacterium indologenes, Streptococcus pyogenes, Chryseobacterium meningosepticum, Pseudomonas cepacia, Proteus penneri, Alcaligene sp., Moraxella sp., Providencia stuarti and Sphingomonas paucimobilis. Novel species in this study were Tatumella ptyseas, Streptococcus pyogenes, Proteus penneri, Providencia stuarti and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis.
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