EFFECT OF REFINED PETROLEUM PRODUCTS CONTAMINATION ON BACTERIAL POPULATION AND PHYSICOCHEMICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF CULTIVATED AGRICULTURAL SOIL

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October – November 2012, vol. 2, no. 2
pages: 684-700
Article type: Microbiology of Microbiology
Abstract: An investigation into the effect of refined petroleum products contamination on bacterial population and physicochemical characteristics of cultivated agricultural soil was carried out. The soil samples obtained from the Teaching and Research Farm, Obakekere, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State were contaminated with varying volumes of petrol, diesel and kerosene. The results revealed higher bacterial populations in uncontaminated soils than contaminated soils. The counts of bacteria ranged from 3.0 × 105 to 5.0 × 105 cfu/g in uncontaminated soils and 1.0 × 105 to 3.0 × 105 cfu/g in contaminated soils. The isolated bacteria were identified as Bacillus subtilis, Flavobacterium lutescens, Micrococcus luteus, Corynebacterium variabilis, Pseudomonas fluorescens. The contamination had no significant effect on pH, potassium, sodium, organic carbon and nitrogen content of the soils, while the moisture, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium content of the contaminated soils were significantly different (P < 0.05) compared with the uncontaminated soils. The ability of Bacillus subtilis, Flavobacterium lutescens, Micrococcus luteus, and Pseudomonas fluorescens to utilize the refined petroleum products suggest that these bacteria had potential to bioremediate petroleum contaminated soils.
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