Cold-adapted halotolerant Rhodococcus sp. BGI-11, a potential candidate for biotechnological applications

Paper Details

Research Paper 01/08/2019
Views (411) Download (8)

Cold-adapted halotolerant Rhodococcus sp. BGI-11, a potential candidate for biotechnological applications

Pervaiz Ali, Fariha Hasan, Samiullah Khan, Malik Badshah, Aamer Ali Shah
Int. J. Biosci.15( 2), 475-489, August 2019.
Certificate: IJB 2019 [Generate Certificate]


Rhodococcus sp. BGI-11 was isolated among 7 otherpsychrotrophic bacteria from ice of Batura glacier in the mighty Karakoram Range. Strain BGI-11 was selected among the rest of glacial isolates on the basis of its variable growth characteristics as well as its ability to utilize hydrocarbons as carbon and energy source. Phylogenetic analysis using 16S rRNA gene revealed the strain is most closely related to Rhodococcuserythropolis with a similarity index of 99.76%. BGI-11 was able to grow at a temperature range of 4-35°C, pH 4-11 and salinity up to 8% (w/v). Results for carbon utilization revealed the strain is able to use glucose, sucrose, maltose, galactose and lactose sugars. This strain also demonstrated the ability to use glycerol and molasses as growth substrates. The strain demonstrated growth in all the 8 culture media tested including, nutrient rich and the selective media. BGI-11 exhibited antimicrobial activity against the multidrug resistant strains of Bacillus sp. and candida albicans. BGI-11 also demonstrated positive activity for lipase and DNase enzymes. Antibiotic susceptibility pattern revealed the strain is resistant to methicillin and trimethoprim/sulfamethxazole while sensitive to imipenem, vancomycin, and ofloxacin. The most exciting physiological characteristics exhibited by this strain was its ability to use long chain hydrocarbon hexadecane as a carbon substrate. Thus, the cold-adapted halotolerantRhodococcus sp. BGI-11 can be used as a potential candidate for various biotechnological applications. BGI-11 can further be used for bioremediation of hydrocarbons in deep oceans, an environment also characterized by low temperature and moderate salinity.


Arulazhagan P, Vasudevan N, Yeom IT. 2010. Biodegradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon by a halotolerant bacterial consortium isolated from marine environment. International Journal of Environmental Science & Technology 7, 639-652.

Bakermans C, Tsapin AI, SouzaEgipsy V, Gilichinsky DA, Nealson KH. 2003. Reproduction and metabolism at -10˚C of bacteria isolated from Siberian permafrost. Environmental Microbiology 5, 321-326.

Bauer AW, Kirby WMM, Sherris JC, Turck M. 1966. Antibiotic susceptibility testing by a standardized single disk method. American Journal of Clinical Pathology 45, 493-496.

Bej AK, Saul D, Aislabie J. 2000. Cold-tolerant alkane-degrading Rhodococcus species from Antarctica. Polar Biology 23, 100-105.

Booth C. 1971. Methods in microbiology (Vol. 4). Academic Press.

Borisova RB.2011. Isolation of a Rhodococcus Soil Bacterium that Produces a Strong Antibacterial Compound. Thesis.

Chayabutra C, Ju LK. 2000. Degradation of n-hexadecane and its metabolites by Pseudomonas aeruginosa under microaerobic and anaerobic denitrifying conditions. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 66, 493-498.

Christner BC, Kvitko BH, Reeve JN. 2003. Molecular identification of bacteria and eukarya inhabiting an Antarctic cryoconite hole. Extremophiles 7, 177-183.

Claverías FP, Undabarrena AN, González M, Seeger M, Cámara BP. 2015. Culturable diversity and antimicrobial activity of Actinobacteria from marine sediments in Valparaíso bay, Chile. Frontiers in microbiology 6, 737.

De Carvalho CC. 2012. Adaptation of Rhodococcus erythropolis cells for growth and bioremediation under extreme conditions. Research in microbiology 163, 125-136.

Fedotova MV, Dmitrieva OA. 2016. Proline hydration at low temperatures: its role in the protection of cell from freeze-induced stress. Amino acids 48, 1685-1694.

Feller G, Gerday C. 2003. Psychrophilic enzymes: hot topics in cold adaptation. Nature reviews microbiology 1, 200.

Gerday C, Aittaleb M, Bentahir M, Chessa JP, Claverie P, Collins T, D’Amico S, Dumont J, Garsoux G, Georlette D, Hoyoux A. 2000. Cold-adapted enzymes: from fundamentals to biotechnology. Trends in biotechnology 18, 103-107.

Herrero OM, Moncalián G, Alvarez HM. 2016. Physiological and genetic differences amongst Rhodococcus species for using glycerol as a source for growth and triacylglycerol production. Microbiology 162, 384-397.

Hewitt K, 2013. Glaciers of the Karakoram Himalaya: Glacial Environments. Springer Netherlands.

Hong Zhang S, GuiHou S, Li Yang G, Hui Wang J. 2010. Bacterial community in the East Rongbuk Glacier, Mt. Qomolangma (Everest) by culture and culture-independent methods. Microbiological research 165, 336-345.

Junge K, Imhoff F, Staley T, Deming W. 2002. Phylogenetic diversity of numerically important Arctic sea-ice bacteria cultured at subzero temperature. Microbial Ecology43, 315-328.

Kasana RC, Salwan R, Dhar H, Dutt S, Gulati A. 2008. A rapid and easy method for the detection of microbial cellulases on agar plates using Gram’s iodine. Current microbiology 57, 503-507.

Kebria DY, Khodadadi A, Ganjidoust H, Badkoubi A, Amoozegar MA. 2009. Isolation and characterization of a novel native Bacillus strain capable of degrading diesel fuel. International Journal of Environmental Science & Technology 6, 435-442.

Kralova S. 2017. Role of fatty acids in cold adaptation of Antarctic psychrophilic Flavobacterium spp. Systematic and applied microbiology 40, 329-333.

Maharana AK, Singh SM. 2018. Cold active lipases produced by Cryptococcus sp. Y-32 and Rhodococcus erythropolis N149 isolated from Nella Lake, Antarctica. International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences 7, 1910-1926.

Margesin R, Miteva V. 2011. Diversity and ecology of psychrophilic microorganisms. Research in microbiology 162, 346-361.

Margesin R, Neuner G, Storey KB. 2007. Cold-loving microbes, plants, and animals—fundamental and applied aspects. Naturwissenschaften 94, 77-99.

Margesin R, Schinner F. 2001. Biodegradation and bioremediation of hydrocarbons in extreme environments. Applied microbiology and biotechnology 56, 650-663.

Miteva VI, Sheridan PP, Brenchley JE. 2004. Phylogenetic and physiological diversity of microorganisms isolated from a deep Greenland glacier ice core. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 70, 202-213.

Morita RY. 1975. Psychrophilic bacteria. Bacteriological reviews 39, 144.

Munaganti RK, Naragani K, Muvva V. 2015. Antimicrobial profile of Rhodococcus erythropolis VL-RK_05 isolated from Mango Orchards. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research 6, 1805.

Olijve LL, Meister K, DeVries AL, Duman JG, Guo S, Bakker HJ, Voets IK. 2016. Blocking rapid ice crystal growth through non-basal plane adsorption of antifreeze proteins. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113, 3740-3745.

Pikuta EV, Hoover RB, Tang J. 2007. Microbial extremophiles at the limits of life. Critical reviews in microbiology 33, 183-209.

Priest FG. 1977. Extracellular enzyme synthesis in the genus Bacillus. Bacteriological reviews 41, 711.

Rapp P, Gabriel-Jürgens LH. 2003. Degradation of alkanes and highly chlorinated benzenes, and production of biosurfactants, by a psychrophilic Rhodococcus sp. and genetic characterization of its chlorobenzene dioxygenase. Microbiology 149, 2879-2890.

Rasul G, Chaudhry QZ, Mahmood A, Hyder KW, Dahe Q. 2011. Glaciers and glacial lakes under changing climate in Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Meteorology 8(15).

Ruberto LA, Vazquez S, Lobalbo A, Mac Cormack WP. 2005. Psychrotolerant hydrocarbon-degrading Rhodococcus strains isolated from polluted Antarctic soils. Antarctic Science 17, 47-56.

Russell NJ. 1990. Cold adaptation of microorganisms. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. B, Biological Sciences 326, 595-611.

Saisriyoot M, Thanapimmetha A, Suwaleerat T, Chisti Y, Srinophakun P. 2019. Biomass and lipid production by Rhodococcus opacus PD630 in molasses-based media with and without osmotic-stress. Journal of biotechnology 297, 1-8.

Saitou N, Nei M. 1987. The neighbor-joining method: a new method for reconstructing phylogenetic trees. Molecular biology and evolution 4, 406-425.

Shivaji S, Begum Z, Rao SSSN, Reddy PVVV, Manasa P, Sailaja B, Prathiba MS, Thamban M, Krishnan KP, Singh SM, Srinivas TN. 2013. Antarctic ice core samples: culturable bacterial diversity. – Research in microbiology 164, 70-82.

Stroud JL, Paton GI, Semple KT. 2007. Microbe‐aliphatic hydrocarbon interactions in soil: implications for biodegradation and bioremediation. Journal of Applied Microbiology 102, 1239-1253.

Whyte LG, Hawari J, Zhou E, Bourbonnière L, Inniss WE, Greer CW. 1998. Biodegradation of Variable-Chain-Length Alkanes at Low Temperatures by a Psychrotrophic Rhodococcus sp. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 64, 2578-2584.

Whyte LG, Slagman SJ, Pietrantonio F, Bourbonniere L, Koval SF, Lawrence JR, Inniss WE, Greer CW. 1999. Physiological adaptations involved in alkane assimilation at a low temperature by Rhodococcus sp. strain Q15. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 65, 2961-2968.

Yakimov MM, Giuliano L, Bruni V, Scarfi S, Golyshin PN. 1999. Characterization of Antarctic hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria capable of producing bioemulsifiers. The new microbiologica 22, 249-256.

Yoon SH, Ha SM, Kwon S, Lim J, Kim Y, Seo H, Chun J. 2017. Introducing EzBioCloud: a taxonomically united database of 16S rRNA gene sequences and whole-genome assemblies. International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology 67, 1613.

Yu D, Margesin R. 2014. Partial characterization of a crude cold-active lipase from Rhodococcus cercidiphylli BZ22. Folia microbiologica 59, 439-445.

Zhang DC, Brouchkov A, Griva G, Schinner F, Margesin R. 2013. Isolation and characterization of bacteria from ancient Siberian permafrost sediment. Biology 2, 85-106.

Zolfaghar M, Amoozegar MA, Khajeh K, Babavalian H, Tebyanian H. 2019. Isolation and screening of extracellular anticancer enzymes from halophilic and halotolerant bacteria from different saline environments in Iran. Molecular biology reports 46, 3275-3286.