Studies of action of heavy metals on caffeine degradation by immobilised Leifsonia sp. strain SIU
Caffeine is an important naturally occurring compound that can be degraded by bacteria. Excessive caffeine consumption is known to have some adverse problems. Previously, Leifsonia sp. strain SIU capable of degrading caffeine was isolated from agricultural soil. The bacterium was tested for its ability to degrade caffeine as the sole carbon and nitrogen source. The isolate was encapsulated in gellan gum and its ability to degrade caffeine in the presence of heavy metals was determined. Out of the nine heavy metals tested, Copper (Cu), Mercury (Hg), and Silver (Ag) had significant effects on caffeine degradation at 1mg/L. Therefore, the concentration of these heavy metals was varied from 0 - 1 mg/L to see at what concentration each metal it has effect. Ag and Hg showed effect at 0.1 mg/L with caffeine degradation of 64.05 and 52.17% respectively, while Cu showed effect at 0.8 mg/L with caffeine degradation of 64.74%. These bacterium features make it an ultimate means for caffeine bioremediation. This is the first report of effect of heavy metals on caffeine degradation by immobilised Leifsonia sp. strain SIU.
Keywords: Caffeine, Degradation, Heavy metals, Immobilisation, Leifsonia sp.