Thiosulphate oxidation by Thiobacillus thioparus and Halothiobacillus neapolitanus strains isolated from the petrochemical industry
Sulphur Oxidizing Bacteria (SOB) is a group of microorganisms widely used for the biofiltration of Total Reduced Sulphur compounds (TRS). TRS are bad smelling compounds with neurotoxic activity which are produced by different industries (cellulose, petrochemical). Thiobacillus thioparus has the capability to oxidize organic TRS, and strains of this bacterium are commonly used for TRS biofiltration technology. In this study, two thiosulphate oxidizing strains were isolated from a petrochemical plant (ENAP BioBio, Chile). They were subjected to molecular analysis by real time PCR using specific primers for T. thioparus. rDNA16S were sequenced using universal primers and their corresponding thiosulphate activities were compared with the reference strain T. thioparus ATCC 10801 in batch standard conditions. Real time PCR and 16S rDNA sequencing showed that one of the isolated strains belonged to the Thiobacillus branch. This strain degrades thiosulphate with a similar activity profile to that shown by the ATCC 10801 strain, but with less growth, making it useful in biofiltration.