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Increasing soil pollution all over the world has instigated global concerns as enormous quantities of toxic chemicals and heavy metals like cadmium, lead, mercury, petrochemicals, insecticides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and chlorophenols are finding their way into the environment, affecting the land and soil, causing soil pollution and thus posing a threat and menace to health and well- being of people and ecosystem. The ubiquitous dissemination, low bioavailability, high perseverance of contaminants like poly-hydrocarbon and metals in soil have the potentially destructive effects to human health, envisages to study the biodegradation of PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and PACs (polycyclic aromatic compounds). The diversity of micro-organisms that diminish the PAHs/PACs can be utilized in the advancement of bioremediation techniques. The role of metal-tolerant, (PAH)-degrading bacteria helps in the biodegradation of organic compounds at miscellaneous polluted sites. The isolation of (PAHs)-degrading bacteria from contaminated soil samples collected from garages and petrol pumps of Delhi and NCR region was carried out in the present study. Also, the bacterial samples were tested for the tolerance towards 4 heavy metals- arsenic (As), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), and mercury (Hg). Morphological studies and biochemical tests were conducted to find the genera of the bacterial samples. The study indicates that hydrocarbons were degraded by the isolates P1, P2, P4, P5, P5*, G1, G3. These isolates were also found to be tolerant at a high concentration of metals (Arsenic, Cadmium, Mercury, and Lead) as minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was also calculated. Antibiotic susceptibility of the isolates was tested against various antibiotics. Thus the study suggests that the isolates identified as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumanii, and Klebsiella pneumoniae are not only PAH-degrading but metal-tolerant and antibiotic-resistant too and are of immense potential for bioremediation of contaminated soils.
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