Biodegradation of Phenol by Newly Isolated Phenol-degrading Bacterium Ralstonia sp. Strain PH-S1

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Karaj Branch, Islamic Azad University


A newly phenol-degrading bacterium, identified as Ralstonia sp. strain PH-S1, was isolated from oil-contaminated soil in Khark Island. It was isolated by a multistep enrichment and screening technique on mineral medium (MM) containing 100 mg.l-1 of phenol as the sole source of carbon. The bacterium was able to degrade up to 1100 mg.l-1 of phenol but the cell growth decreased with higher concentrations of phenol. The PH-S1 strain grew well in the pH range of 4 to 9 and in the temperature range of 30 to 40 °C. Different concentrations of NaCl ranging from 10 to 20% on the growth of bacteria was studied and it was found that this strain was able to grow well in 10% NaCl; but, higher concentrations of NaCl decreased the growth of the strain.
The laboratory scale results indicated the potential application of the strain in the treatment of low saline industrial wastewaters. However, further investigations are required to confirm the ability of the strain.


[1]. Jong Su S., Young Soo K., and Qing X., “Bacterial Degradation of Aromatic Compounds”, Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Vol. 6, pp. 278- 309, 2009.
[2]. Alon N., Ron A., Eyal Z., Stefan R., and Charles L.,  “Phenol Biodegradation by Corynebacterium Glutamicum Encapsulated in Electrospun Fibers”, Journal of environmental protection, Vol.3, pp.164-168, 2012.
[3]. Kumaran P., and Paruchuri Y., “Kinetics of Phenol Biotransformation”, Water Research, Vol.31, pp. 11-22, 1996.
[4]. Nuhoglu N., and Yalcin B., “Modeling of Phenol Removal in a Batch Reactor”, Biochemistry, Vol.40, pp.1233-1239, 2005.
[5]. Gurusamy A., Lai Yi. L., and Jiunn-Fwu L., “Biodegradation of Phenol by Pseudomonas Pictorum on immobilized with Chitin”, African Journal of Biotechnology, Vol.6, No.3, 296-303, 2007.
[6]. Mahiuddin M., Fakhroddin A., and Al-Mahin A., “Degradation of Phenol via Meta Cleavage Pathway by Pseudomonas fluorescens PU1”, Microbiology, Vol.56, pp.1-6, 2012.
[7]. Saravanan P., Pakshirajan K., and Prabirkumar S., “Biodegradation of Phenol and M-Cresol in a Batch and Fed Batch Operated Internal Loop Airlift Bioreactor by Indigenous Mixed Microbial Culture Predominantly Pseudomonas sp.”, Bioresource Technology, Vol.99, pp.8553–8558, 2008.
[8]. Butani N., Parekh H., and Salyia V., “Biodegradation of Phenol by a Bacterial Strain Isolated from a Phenol Contaminated Site in India”, Research Journal of Environmental sciences, Vol.1, pp.46-49, 2012.
[9]. Ventosa A., and Nieto JJ., “Biotechnological Applications and Potentialities of Halophilic Microorganisms”, World J Microbiol Biotechnol., Vol.11, pp.85–94, 1995.
[10]. Woolard C., and Irvine R., “Treatment of Hypersaline Wastewater in the Sequencing Batch Reactor”, Water Reserch, Vol.29, No.4, pp.1159–68, 1995.
[11]. Brent M, Tomas W., and David R., “Kinetics of Phenol Biodegradation in High Salt Solutions”, Water Research, Vol
[12]. Ellis T., Smets B., and Grady J., “Effect of Simultaneous Biodegradation of Multiple Substrates on the Extant Biodegradation Kinetics of Individual Substrates”, Water Environment Reserch, Vol.70, No.1, pp.27–38, 1998.
[13]. Kumaran P., and Paruchuri Y., “Kinetic of phenol biotransformation”, Water Reserch, Vol.31, No.1, pp.11–22, 1997.
[14]. Leonard D., Youssef B., Destruhaut C., Lindley ND., and Queinnec I., “Phenol Degradation by Ralstonia Eutropha: Colormetric Determination of 2-HydroxyMuconate Semialdehyde Accumulation to Control Feed Strategy in Fedbatch Fermentations”, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Vol.65, No.4, pp.407–15, 1999.
[15]. Eaton A., Clesceri L., and Greenberg A., “Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater”, 19th Ed., American Public Health Association Inc., 1995.
[16]. Saldana G., Martinez-Alcantara V., Vinardell J., Bellogin R., Ruiz- Sainz J., and Balatti P., “Genetic Diversity of Fast-Growing Rhizobia that Nodulate Soybean”, Arch. Microbiol., Vol.180, pp.45–52, 2003.
[17]. Pradhan N., and Ingle A.O., “Mineralization of Phenol by a Serratia plymuthica Strain GC Isolated from Sludge Sample”, International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation, Vol.60, pp.103-108, 2007.        
[18]. Gehong W., Jianfu Yu., Yuhua Zh., Weimin C., and Wang L., “Characterization of Phenol Degradation by Rhizobium sp.CCNWTB 701 Isolated from Astragalus Chrysopteru in Mining Tailing Region”, Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol.151, pp.111–117, 2008.
.36, pp.4811–4820, 2002.