Crude Oil-induced Morphological and Physiological Responses in Cyanobacterium Microchaete tenera ISC13

Document Type: Original Research Paper


1 Department of Biology, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Petroleum Microbiology, Research Institute of Applied Science, ACECR, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Biology, Gorgan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Gorgan, Iran

4 Department of Microbiology, Karaj Branch, Islamic Azad University, Karaj, Iran


In this research the effects of crude oil on morphological and physiological characterization of
the cyanobacterium Microchaete tenera ISC13 were investigated. Isolated cyanobacterium treated with different oil concentrations (control, 1, 2.5, 5 and 7%) in carbonless BG110 medium. Morphological characteristics such as morphology of filament, cellular shapes and sizes, relative position of heterocytes and akinetes were described for these treatments. Biometrical and morphological observations carried out by light and scanning electron microscopy. Dimensions of cells did not significantly impress, although a slightly increase in length of vegetative cells was observed in 2.5 and 5% crude oil in comparison to control. With respect to the physiological responses, cyanobacterium growth increased with elevated oil concentration but no changes was observed in chlorophyll content. Phycobiliproteins (PBP), phycocyanin (PC) and allophycocyanin (APC) had the highest rate in control. Increasing crude oil decreased all PBP. This study demonstrated that crude oil doesn’t have destructive effect on Microchaete tenera ISC13 and suggest probable potential of this microorganism to use oil hydrocarbons as carbon source.