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Bioremediation is based on microorganisms able to use pollutants either as a source of carbon or in co-metabolism, and is a promising strategy in cleaning the environment. Using soil contaminated with petroleum products from an industrial area in Saudi Arabia (Jubail), and after enrichment with the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) naphthalene, a Methylobacterium radiotolerans strain (N7A0) was isolated that can grow in the presence of naphthalene as the sole source of carbon. M. radiotolerans is known to be resistant to gamma radiation, and this is the first documented report of a strain of this bacterium using a PAH as the sole source of carbon. The commonly reported Pseudomonas aeruginosa (strain N7B1) that biodegrades naphthalene was also identified, and gas chromatography analyses have shown that the biodegradation of naphthalene by M. radiotolerans and P. aeruginosa did follow both the salicylate and phthalate pathways.
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