Received March 23, 1999,Revised May 15, 1999, Accepted , Available online

Volume 12,2000,Pages 296-302

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The distribution of actinomycetes in oil contaminated sandy loam ultisols of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria was studied to aid in understanding the effect of hydrocarbons on indigenous microbial population in tropical soils. The average total counts of actinomycetes in all the oil samples analysed was 103 cfu/g. Higher counts of actinomycetes were observed during the dry season than during the wet season. The counts of hydrocarbonoclastic actinomycetes correlated positively with the total count of actinomycetes.The actinomycetes were generally restricted to the top soil(0-10 cm soil depth) although a seemingly deeper(down to 40 cm soil depth) distribution was noticed in the dry season. The isolates included oil degrading species of Actinoplanes, Norcadia,Streptomyces and Streptosporangium. Their high oil utilization ability indicates their positive potential and role in the bioremediation of oil-spilled soils.

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