Oil degrading potentials of cold-loving (psychrophilic) bacteria
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A collection of 1400 psychrophilic isolates, belonging to 31 different genera, has been screened with the intent to identify the strains that harbor the ability to degrade polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).The 16S rDNA sequencing has been performed for the 15 isolates resulting positive to the screening in order to study the taxonomy and the phylogeny of the samples. The results have confirmed that all the PAHs-degrading bacteria belong to Psychrobacter genus.The samples have been tested in presence of copper into the medium. The outcomes have exhibited that copper highly enhanced the enzymatic activity of the samples.In addition, the investigation of the genes that are involved in the production of PAHs-degrading enzyme has been carried out. The results revealed a strong relationship between the ability to degrade PAHs and the presence of laccCu gene, encoding the laccase enzyme, in the DNA of the samples. This result highlights two important aspects of our samples: the presence of laccase-like enzyme in the Psychrobacter genus and the strong activity of this specific enzyme towards the PAHs degradation.