An Assessment of the Crude oil – utilizing Microorganisms in Ogoniland Crude oil – Polluted Rivers

Onuorah Samuel, Idabor Simon, Odibo Frederick


An assessment of the crude oil-utilizing microorganisms in Ogoniland crude oil-polluted rivers was carried out using standard microbiological techniques. The samples were collected from the rivers located at Gokhana, Eleme, khana and Tae Kingdoms in Rivers State, Nigeria. The total bacterial, yeasts and moulds counts were 4.20x102 cfu/ml - 7.00x102 cfu/ml; 2.60x102 cfu/ml - 3.70x102 cfu/ml and 2.80x102 cfu/ml - 4.22x102 cfu/ml respectively. The heterotrophic microorganisms isolated from the samples were Micrococcus luteus, Bacillus cereus, Serratia marcescens, Escherichia coli, Alcaligenes faecalis, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Aeromonas hydrophila, Nocardia asteroides, Citrobacter freundii, Rhodotorula mucilaginosa, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Candida tropicalis, Alternaria alternata, Rhizopus stolonifer, fusarium solani, Aspergillus niger, Penicillium digitatum and Cladosporium herbarum. All the organisms except Eschericha coli utilized crude oil as shown by the varying degree of turbidity and clarity they produced while growing in a mineral salts medium. The crude oil-utilizing bacterial, yeasts and moulds counts were 3.91 x 102 cfu/ml - 6.75 x 102 cfu/ml, 2.30 x 102 cfu/ml - 3.59 x 102 cfu/ml and 2.48 x 102 cfu/ml - 3.95 x 102 cfu/ml respectively. Micrococcus luteus, Bacillus cereus, Serratia marcescens, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida tropicalis, Rhizopus stolonifer, Aspergillus niger, Penicillium digitatum as well as the microbial consortium from each river sample showed heavy growth indicating active crude oil utilization. Bacillus cereus was isolated most frequently (24.22%) among the bacterial isolates; Candida tropicalis most frequently (36.58%) among the yeasts isolated while Penicillium digitatum was isolated most frequently (22.91%) among the moulds isolates. This work indicated that bioremediation of Ogoniland crude oil-polluted rivers by indigenous microorganisms can occur naturally with or without any amendment with nutrients.


Crude oil, Assessment, Ogoniland, Polluted Rivers, Microorganisms

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