SCREENING OF FUNGI ISOLATED FROM KADUNA REFINERY AREA FOR PETROLEUM HYDROCARBON BIOREMEDIATION POTENTIALS
Bioremediation relies upon microbial enzymatic activities to degrade the offending contaminants. The aim of this study was to isolate and screen fungi from a Petroleum refinery environment for oxidase enzyme. Soil, effluent, surface water, sediment and ground water samples were analysed for hydrocarbon utilizing fungi (HUF). The HUF were isolated by the standard plate count method and the hydrocarbon vapour phase transfer technique. Oxidase enzyme activity was determined spectrophotometrically with acetaldehyde as substrate. Sixty fungi were isolated. Out of the 60 fungal isolates 52 (87%) were positive for oxidase enzyme. The colonial and microscopic characteristics indicated that the probable fungi from the sites were Penicillium, Fusarium, Aspergillus flavus Monilia, Cephalosporium, Verticillium, Phytophora, and yeast. Penicillium and Fusarium were the dominant fungi. The results of the oxidase enzyme activity indicated that majority of fungi in the study site possessed the ability to transform or degrade, contaminants.