Biodegradation is the chemical breakdown of materials by a physiological environment. The term is often used in relation to ecology, waste management and environmental remediation. A specific gene from bacteria is identified and sequenced which has the capacity of oil degradation without any obvious strain specific discrimination using a combination of PCR and hybridization. The parameters of biodegradation that is culturing and PCR technique provide useful information for an assessment of the intrinsic biodegradation potential that is present at a site. PCR amplification products in the plasmid DNA of Pseudomonas aeruginosa was transformed into competent Escherichia coli cells. Thus the E. coli cells were conferred with oil degrading property and this was confirmed by growing them in Bushnell Hass medium along with petroleum oil. The E. coli cells were found to be catabolizing the oil. Results show that the capability for alkane degradation is a common trait in microbial communities. The method can be a very useful tool for the fast estimation of the biodegradation potential at polluted sites.
Key words: Detection, hydrocarbon biodegradation, PCR-hybridization, transformation.
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