This paper analyzes the impact of saponins from English ivy leaves on the properties of environmental bacterial strains and hydrocarbon degradation ability. For this purpose, two bacterial strains, Raoultella ornitinolytica
M03 and Acinetobacter calcoaceticus
M1B, have been used in toluene, 4-chlorotoluene, and α,α,α-trifluorotoluene biodegradation supported by Hedera helix
extract. Moreover, theeffects of ivy exposition on cell properties and extract toxicity were investigated. The extract was found to cause minor differences in cell surface hydrophobicity, membrane permeability, and Zeta potential, although it adhered to the cell surface. Acinetobacter calcoaceticus
M1B was more affected by the ivy extract; thus, the cells were more metabolically active and degraded saponins at greater amounts. Although the extract influenced positively the cells’ viability in the presence of hydrocarbons, it could have been used by the bacteria as a carbon source, thus slowing down hydrocarbon degradation. These results show that the use of ivy saponins for hydrocarbon remediation is environmentally acceptable but should be carefully analyzed to assess the efficiency of the selected saponins-rich extract in combination with selected bacterial strains.
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