Comparing the Effect of Kerosene Pollution on Forest and Industrial Soil Microbial Community

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Department of Microbiology, Sirja branch, Islamic Azad University, Kerman, Iran

2 Department of Microbiology, Sirjan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Sirjan, Iran

3 Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran



Kerosene is the colorless liquid and slightly heavier than gasoline that
specific odor removes after evaporation. Soil and underground water source are
contaminated with different pollutants such as petroleum hydrocarbons. These pollutants
have various negative environmental effects on soil and surrounding environment. The
aim of this research is to understand the effect of kerosene pollution on two different
soils. The two different collected soils include Industrial and Forest soil. Six microcosms
were designed. Indeed, each soil has three microcosms: unpolluted microcosm, polluted
microcosm, and polluted microcosm with nutrient (Nitrogen and Phosphor). Some factors
were assayed in each microcosm during 120 day of experiment. These factors include
total heterotrophic bacteria, total kerosene degrading bacteria, dehydrogenase enzyme,
and kerosene biodegradation. The results of this study show that the highest quantity of
heterotrophic bacteria is related to forest soil (6×109). The quantities of kerosene
degrading bacteria significantly were lower than heterotrophic bacteria in all soil
microcosms. The quantity of kerosene degrading bacteria have decrement pattern until
60th day of experiment, but, after this day, these bacteria have increment pattern. The best
dehydrogenase activity between different microcosms is related to polluted microcosm
with kerosene except for farmland soil. The highest biodegradation of kerosene in all
studied soil belongs to industrial microcosm (95%). Statistical analysis of the results
shows that there is a significant correlation between MPN quantity of heterotrophic
bacteria and other assayed factrs. Also, forest soil has significant difference with other
soils. It may be possible to propose appropriate strategies for bioremediation of different
studied soil types using the results obtained in this research.


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