African Journal of Biotechnology

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Biodegradation of detergents by aquatic bacterial flora from Otamiri River, Nigeria

TE Ogbulie, JN Ogbulie, I Umezuruike


The utilization of Omo®, Jet® and Persil® detergents by aquatic bacteria isolates from Otamiri River at Nekede in Owerri North, Imo State, Nigeria was investigated. Identification tests for bacteria isolates from Otamiri River revealed them to belong to the genera Bacillus, Micrococcus, Escherichia, Enterobacter, Klebsiella, Psendomonas, Actinomyces, Corynebacterium, Serratia and Staphylococcus. Detergent utilization studies revealed total heterotrophic count of 3.38, 3.40, 3.36 and 5.35 log cfu/ml
and 2.08, 2.20, 1.95 and 3.48 log cfu/ml obtained at 0 and 48 h for Omo®, Jet®, Persil® and control experiment, respectively. At 96 and 144 h, 2.37, 2.35, 2.25 and 2.47 log cfu/ml and 2.39, 2.37, 2.35, and
2.46 log cfu/m were obtained. While counts of 1.70, 2.37, 1.38 and 2.4 log cfu/ml were obtained at 192 h for Omo®, Jet®, Persil® and the control experiment, respectively. Of the nine bacterial isolates obtained
from the river water, only Pseudomonas, Bacillus, Actinomyces, Corynebacterium and Staphylococcus were found to survive in the detergent water and possibly utilize the test detergents. Isolate specific
detergent utilization test revealed these isolates to be capable of utilizing the test detergents in single and combined forms with Pseudomonas showing the highest ability while the least was observed for Staphylococcus. Statistical analysis revealed significant changes in optical density of detergent broth challenged with the test organisms, with the organism showing more ability to utilize, Omo® and Jet®
than Persil® detergents. The result obtained, however, reveals the ability of natural aquatic bacterial Isolates to degrade detergents in aquatic ecosystem.

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