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Crude oil utilization by fungi

Publication: Canadian Journal of Microbiology
February 1979

Abstract

Sixty fungal isolates, 34 obtained by a static enrichment technique from soils of northern Canadian oil-producing areas and 26 from culture collections, were screened for their ability to grow on n-tetradecane, toluene, naphthalene, and seven crude oils of varying composition. Forty cultures, including 28 soil isolates, were capable of growth on one or more crude oils. The genera most frequently isolated from soils were those producing abundant small condida, e.g. Penicillium and Verticillium spp. Oil-degrading strains of Beauveria bassiana, Mortieriella sp., Phoma sp., Scolecobasidium obovatum, and Tolypocladium inflatum were also isolated. Qualitative and quantitative differences were noted among the capacities of different crude oils to sustain the growth of individual fungal isolates. Data are presented which show that ability to grow on a pure n-alkane is not a good indicator of ability to grow on crude oil. Degradation of Rainbow Lake crude oil by individual isolates was demonstrated by gravimetric and gas-chromatographic techniques. The problems involved in determining the response and the potential of fungi to degrade oil spilled in the environment are discussed.

Résumé

Nous avons sélectionné, d'après leur aptitude à croître sur le n-tétradécane, le toluène, le naphtalène et sept pétroles bruts de compositions variées, 60 isolats fongiques; 34 d'entre eux, provenant des sols de régions pétroliferes du nord canadien, furent obtenus par une technique d'enrichissement stationnaire alors que 26 autres proviennent de collections. Quarante cultures, dont 28 isolats provenant du sol, ont montré une capacité de croître sur un ou plusieurs pétroles bruts. Les genres les plus couramment isolés du sol étaient ceux produisant de petites conidies en grand nombre tels Penicillium et Verticillium spp. Nous avons aussi isolé des souches de Beauveria bassiana, Mortieriella sp., Phoma sp., Scolecobasidium obovatum et Tolypocladium inflatum capables de dégrader le pétrole. Nous avons observé des différences qualitatives et quantitatives en ce qui regarde l'aptitude de différents bruts à soutenir la croissance d'isolats fongiques particuliers. Nous présentons des données qui démontrent que la capacité de croître sur un n-alcane pur n'est pas un indicateur valable de la capacité de croître sur un pétrole brut. Nous avons démontré par des techniques gravimétriques et par chromatographie en phase gazeuse la dégradation du brut du lac Rainbow par des isolats individuels.Nous discutons les problèmes que sous-tendent l'évaluation de la capacité et du potentiel des champignons à dégrader le pétrole perdu dans l'environnement. [Traduit par le journal]

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cover image Canadian Journal of Microbiology
Canadian Journal of Microbiology
Volume 25Number 2February 1979
Pages: 146 - 156

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Version of record online: 10 February 2011

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