Inhibitory effect of aged petroleum hydrocarbons on the survival of inoculated microorganism in a crude-oil-contaminated site

Yoon Suk Kang, Youn Jong Park, Jaejoon Jung, Woojun Park

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We studied the effects of aged total petroleum hydrocarbons (aged TPH) on the survival of allochthonous dieseldegrading Rhodococcus sp. strain YS-7 in both laboratory and field investigations. The aged TPH extracted from a crude-oil-contaminated site were fractionized by thin-layer chromatography/flame ionization detection (TLC/FID). The three fractions identified were saturated aliphatic (SA), aromatic hydrocarbon (AH), and asphaltene-resin (AR). The ratio and composition of the separated fractions in the aged TPH were quite different from the crude-oil fractions. In the aged TPH, the SA and AH fractions were reduced and the AR fraction was dramatically increased compared with crude oil. The SA and AH fractions (2 mg/l each) of the aged TPH inhibited the growth of strain YS-7. Unexpectedly, the AR fraction had no effect on the survival of strain YS-7. However, crude oil (1,000 mg/l) did not inhibit the growth of strain YS-7. When strain YS-7 was inoculated into an aged crude-oil-contaminated field and its presence was monitored by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), we discovered that it had disappeared on 36 days after the inoculation. For the first time, this study has demonstrated that the SA and AH fractions in aged TPH are more toxic to an allochthonous diesel-degrading strain than the AR fraction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1672-1678
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Dec 1



  • Aromatic hydrocarbon
  • Asphaltene
  • FISH
  • Resin
  • Saturated hydrocarbon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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