The performance of six different bioluminescent bacteria for the assessment of oil bioremediation was compared. Three contained lux genes linked to promoters from hydrocarbon degradation pathways: Pseudomonas fluorescens HK44 (pUTK21), Escherichia coli HMS174 (pOS25) and E. coli DH5 alpha (pGEc74, pJAMA7), responding to naphthalene, isopropylbenzene and octane, respectively. The other three expressed lux constitutively: E. coli HB101 (pUCD607) and P. putida F1 (pUCD607) are genetically engineered, while Vibrio fischeri is naturally bioluminescent and was included to facilitate comparison with previous work. Five different oils (four crude oils plus diesel) were spiked into soil, and the progress of remediation was followed over a period of 119 d by monitoring both hydrocarbon disappearance and changes in the microbial response to soil extracts. The octane bioassay was the only one of the hydrocarbon-responsive bacterial assays to show any appreciable response, with up to 20-fold induction by light crude oils. Heavy crude oil and diesel elicited a much weaker response. The metabolic (lux constitutively expressed) bioassays showed that there was a general increase in toxicity over the course of the experiment, although toxicity to E. coli HB101 (pUCD607) appeared to be decreasing by the final sampling point. The metabolic bioassay response was much less variable between the different oils than for the first three, catabolic, strains.
- HYDROCARBON BIODEGRADATION
- FIELD RELEASE