Acinetobacter strains LT1 and V2 were grown in Bushnell-Haas medium with 1% diesel and their expression levels of eight diesel-degrading genes were evaluated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR). LT1 and V2 isolates achieved 86.2 and 89.7% degradation respectively, after 60 days with no significant differences in expression, in comparison with 16S rRNA, rubB and lipB. LT1 showed higher expression levels of rubA, alkM, alkR and xcpR genes during the initial stages of incubation corresponding to higher level of degradation rate. Amplification of alkM, alkR and xcpR genes of V2 indicated more than one enzyme system involved in the process. Low lipB and lipA expression in LT1 and no lipA expression in V2 suggested the absence of lipases in degradation; however, estB gene was predominantly expressed in V2. Thus, isolates LT1 and V2 possessed comparable efficiency in degrading diesel; however, more complex systems have been employed by V2i n degradation process.
Key words: qPCR, diesel degradation, Acinetobacter calcoaceticus, bioemulsifier, gene expression.
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