Characterisation of hydrocarbon degradation, biosurfactant production, and biofilm formation in Serratia sp. Tan611: a new strain isolated from industrially contaminated environment in Algeria

Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 2021 Apr;114(4):411-424. doi: 10.1007/s10482-021-01527-5. Epub 2021 Feb 15.


A novel bacterial strain was isolated from industrially contaminated waste water. In the presence of crude oil, this strain was shown to reduce the rate of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) up to 97.10% in 24 h. This bacterium was subsequently identified by 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis and affiliated to the Serratia genus by the RDP classifier. Its genome was sequenced and annotated, and genes coding for catechol 1,2 dioxygenase and naphthalene 1,2-dioxygenase system involved in aromatic hydrocarbon catabolism, and LadA-type monooxygenases involved in alkane degradation, were identified. Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis of crude oil after biological treatment showed that Serratia sp. Tan611 strain was able to degrade n-alkanes (from C13 to C25). This bacterium was also shown to produce a biosurfactant, the emulsification index (E24) reaching 43.47% and 65.22%, against vegetable and crude oil, respectively. Finally, the formation of a biofilm was increased in the presence of crude oil. These observations make Serratia sp. Tan611 a good candidate for hydrocarbon bioremediation.

Keywords: Aromatic hydrocarbon catabolism; Bioremediation; Biosurfactant; Total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH); n-alkanes.

MeSH terms

  • Algeria
  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Biofilms
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Petroleum*
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Serratia* / genetics


  • Hydrocarbons
  • Petroleum
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S