Bioremediation of various aromatic and emerging pollutants by Bacillus cereus sp. isolated from petroleum sludge

Manal Ali Alhefeiti, Khawlah Athamneh, Ranjit Vijayan, Syed Salman Ashraf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The accumulation of toxic chemical constituents in sludge and wastewater has fuelled an interest in investigating efficient and eco-friendly wastewater remediation approaches. In this study, a set of bacterial samples were isolated from petroleum sludge and tested for their ability to degrade different aromatic pollutants, including azo dyes and emerging pollutants. Although exhibiting differential specificity, all bacterial isolates were able to degrade different classes of aromatic dyes efficiently. Ribosomal 16S rRNA sequencing of the 12 bacterial isolates showed that they belonged to two different bacterial genera: Bacillus cereus and Pseudomonas guariconensis. Of these 12 strains, MA1 (B. cereus) was the most promising and was chosen for further optimization and biochemical studies. The optimum culture and remediation conditions for MA1 was found to be at pH 7, with 100 ppm dye concentration, and under aerobic condition. In addition to efficiently degrading various aromatic dyes (e.g. Congo Red, Reactive Black 5, PBS, and Toluidine Blue), MA1 was also found to be capable of degrading various emerging pollutants (e.g. prometryn, fluometuron and sulfamethoxazole). Preliminary transcriptome analysis shows that MA1 grown on media containing a mixture of aromatic dyes appears to differentially express a number of genes. Data shown here strongly suggests that petroleum sludge is a rich reservoir of bacteria with powerful remediation abilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1535-1547
Number of pages13
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2021


  • Aromatic dyes
  • Bacillus cereus
  • Bioremediation
  • Emerging pollutants
  • Pseudomonas guariconensis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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