Journal of Soils and Sediments

, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 2222–2230 | Cite as

Bioremediation of petroleum-contaminated soils using Streptomyces sp. Hlh1

  • Hafida Baoune
  • Juan Daniel Aparicio
  • Graciela Pucci
  • Aminata Ould El Hadj-Khelil
  • Marta Alejandra PoltiEmail author
Soils, Sec 1 • Soil Organic Matter Dynamics and Nutrient Cycling • Research Article



Bioremediation using microorganisms is a promising strategy to remediate soil with petroleum hydrocarbons. Streptomyces sp. Hlh1, an endophytic strain, has previously demonstrated the ability to degrade crude petroleum in liquid culture. To apply this strain at field scale, it is necessary to test its ability to colonize the soil, compete with native microbiota, and remove the petroleum hydrocarbons under unfavorable conditions. Herein, a study was conducted to evaluate the performance of Streptomyces sp. Hlh1 to remove crude petroleum from contaminated sterilized and non-sterilized soils.

Materials and methods

Soils samples, contaminated with 2%, 5%, and 10% of petroleum, were inoculated with Streptomyces sp. Hlh1, and incubated at 30 °C for 4 weeks. At the end of bioremediation assays, the pollutant concentrations were determined by Gas chromatography flame ionization detector and the degradation rates were also calculated. The survival of the strain in the soil was estimated and the toxicity of metabolites was evaluated on Lactuca sativa.

Results and discussion

Streptomyces sp. Hlh1 was able to grow and remove total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH), n-alkanes, and aromatic hydrocarbons found in soil samples. In sterilized soil samples, Streptomyces sp. Hlh1 removed up to 40% of TPH at an initial concentration of 10%. Whereas, the maximum TPH removal reached was 55% in non-sterilized soil at an initial concentration of 2%. In addition, it was observed that the degradation of aromatic hydrocarbons was more active than n-alkanes. The strain grew well and produced high biomass in contaminated soil. Lettuce seedling was found to be the adequate bioindicator to assess the toxicity of petroleum end products. Streptomyces sp. Hlh1 performed a successful bioremediation, which was confirmed through the phytotoxicity test.


The study shows the first insight of the contribution of free endophytic actinobacterial strain in the bioremediation of petroleum-contaminated soil; therefore, it suggests that Streptomyces sp. Hl1 can be usefully exploited at field scale.


Bacteria Bioremediation Detoxification Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) 



The authors gratefully acknowledge G. Borchia for his technical assistance and Enzo Raimondo for his invaluable contribution to this work.

Funding information

This work was supported by “Secretaría de Ciencia, Arte e Innovación Tecnológica” of “Universidad Nacional de Tucumán” (PIUNT D504 and D626), “Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica” (PICT 2013 No. 0141; PICT 2016 No. 0493), and CONICET (PU-E 22920160100012CO).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Planta Piloto de Procesos Industriales Microbiológicos (PROIMI)CONICETTucumánArgentina
  2. 2.Laboratoire de protection des écosystème en zones arides et semi-arides, FNSVUniversité Kasdi Merbah OuraglaOuraglaAlgeria
  3. 3.Facultad de Bioquímica, Química y FarmaciaUniversidad Nacional de Tucumán (UNT)TucumánArgentina
  4. 4.Centro de Estudios e Investigación en Microbiología Aplicada (CEIMA)Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia San Juan Bosco (UNPSJB)Comodoro RivadaviaArgentina
  5. 5.Facultad de Ciencias Naturales e Instituto Miguel LilloUniversidad Nacional de Tucumán (UNT)TucumánArgentina

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