Journal of toxicology and environmental health. Part A

Endophytic Bacteria Associated with Hieracium piloselloides: Their Potential for Hydrocarbon-Utilizing and Plant Growth-Promotion.

PMID 26167752


The aim of this study was to assess the potential of 18 crude-oil-degrading endophytic bacteria for removal of hydrocarbons and promotion of plant growth. Strains were isolated from Hieracium piloselloides (tall hawkweed), which grows in soil heavily polluted with petroleum hydrocarbons. Bacteria from the genus Pseudomonas were abundant among the isolates. The potential for hydrocarbon degradation was evaluated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analyses of the genes alkB, alkH, C23O, P450, and pah. It was found that 88.89% of the endophytic bacteria contained gene-encoding polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) initial dioxygenase, 61% possessed the 2,3-catechol dioxygenase gene, and 39% of strains that were tested had the cytochrome P-450 hydroxylase gene. All isolates were capable of producing indole-3-acetic acid (1.8-76.4 μg/ml). Only 17% of them were able to produce siderophores, excrete cellulase, and solubilize phosphate. Hydrogen cyanide synthesis occurred in 33% of endophytic bacteria. The 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate deaminase activity in isolates that were screened was in the range of 2.6 to 74.1 μmol α-ketobutyrate/mg/h. This feature of the bacteria indicated that isolates may enhance the phytoremediation process. Data suggest that crude-oil-degrading endophytic bacteria possess potential to be promising candidates for enhancement of phytoremediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soil. Further evaluation of these bacteria is needed in order to assess the role played in the degradation of petroleum hydrocarbons.