Molecular Evaluation of Soil Respiration in Crude Oil Pollution

Maximus M. Ebulue


Oxygen diffusion into the soil ecosystem is imperative for the sustainability of life in the soil. This study evaluated selected microbial exudates as indices of soil respiration in a crude oil polluted soil ecosystem ex-situ using biochemical and physicochemical tools to determine the following parameters; total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH), dehydrogenases, catalase, ATP, and pH. The result of the study at 1.5 – 3.5% contamination across days-zero to -28 following crude oil impact presented an augmented increase in TPH from 0.02 ± 0.00 to 0.10 ± 0.00 with an increase in the activity of soil dehydrogenases from 4.90 ± 0.01 to 8.80 ± 0.04 katal which was significant (p<0.05). Conversely, the activity of soil catalase suffered inhibition from 0.20 ± 0.00 to 0.11 ± 0.00 katal. ATP synthesis decreased from control to 0.24 ± 0.00mg/100g on week one and increased to 0.60 ± 0.10mg/100mg significantly (p<0.05) on week four with contamination as the pH was reduced from 5.8 ± 0.00 to 4.1 ± 0.00 significantly, thus creating hypoxia and a reducing environment, a demonstration of soil respiration.


ATP; Catalase; Crude oil (tph); Dehydrogenases; pH

Full Text:



Ausmus, B. S. (1973). The use of ATP assay in terrestrial decomposition studies. In Modern Methods in the Study of Microbial Ecology (T. Rosswell, ed.). Bulletins of the Ecological Research Committee (Stockholm), 17, 271-273.

Cohen, G. J., Dembiec, D. and Marcus, J. (1970). Measurement of catalase activity in tissue extracts. Analyical Biochemistry, 34, 30-38.

Dominguez-Rosado, R. E. and Pichtel, J. (2004). Phytoremediation of soil contaminated with used motor oil. Environmental Engineering Science, 2, 157-168.

Dushoff, I.M., Payne, J., Hershey, F.B. and Donaldson, R.C. (1965). Oxygen uptake tetrazolium reduction during skin cycle of mouse. American Journal of Physiology, 209, 231-235.

Ebulue, M. M. (2020). Influence of soil pH on solubility and leachability of heavy metals from spent engine oil pollution. J.Bio.Innov 9(6), 1488-1496.

Ebulue, M. M. (2021). Impact assessment of the activities of soil lipase and dehydrogenases in spent engine oil-polluted ecosystem undergoing remediation. J.Bio.Innov 10(1), 265-274.

Ebulue, M. M., Uwakwe, A. A. and Wegwu, M. O. (2017). Soil lipase and dehydrogenases activities in spent engine oil polluted ecosystem. Journal of Bioinnovation 6(5), 782-789.

Jenkinson, D. S., Davidson, S. A. and Powlson, D. S. (1979). Adenosine triphosphate and microbial biomass in soil. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 11, 521-527.

Knowles, C. J. (1977). Microbial metabolic regulation by adenine nucleotide pools. Symposium of the Society for General Microbiology, 27, 241- 283.

Mandal AJ, Sarma PM, Singh B. (2012). Bioremediation: An environment friendly sustainable biotechnological solution for remediation of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated waste. ARPN Journal of Science and Technology, 2(Special Issue),1–12.

Margesin R. and Schinner F., 1997. Bioremediation of diesel-oil contaminated alpine soil at low temperatures. Appl. Microbiol.Biotechnol, 47, 462-468.

Margesin, R., Schinner, F. and Zimmerbauer, A. (2000). Monitoring of bioremediation by soil biological activities. Chemosphere, 40, 339- 345.

Osam, M. U., Wegwu, M. O. and Ayalogu, E. O. (2013). Soil pH, moisture content and some macro non-metallic elements in crude oil contaminated soils remediated with some wild-type legumes. International Journal of Engineering Science Invention, 2, 54-59.

Osuji, L. C. and Nwoye, I. (2007). An appraisal of the impact of petroleum hydrocarbons on soil fertility: the Owaza experience. African Journal of Agricultural Resources, 2(7), 318- 324.

Rogers J.C. and Li S. (1985). Effect of metals and other inorganic ions on soil microbial activity. Soil dehydrogenase assay as a simple toxicity test. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol, 34, 858-865.

Wyszkowska, J. and Kucharski, J. (2005). Correlation between the number of microorganisms and soil contamination with diesel oil. Polish Journal of Environmental studies, 14(3), 359-363.

Wyszkowska, J., Kucharski, J. and Wałdowska, E. (2002). The influence of diesel oil contamination on microorganisms and oat growth. Rost Vancouver, 48, 51-55.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2022 Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

ASEAN Journal of Science and Engineering (AJSE) is published by UPI 

View My Stats