A Study on Soil Bacterial Population in Steel Company and Some Related Area in Erbil City in Relation to Heavy Metal Pollution

Keywords: Pollution, Heavy metals, Soil bacteria, Erbil Steel Company


Present study was conducted to investigate the impact of heavy metal pollution from Erbil steel company on soil physicochemical properties and bacterial population of surrounding soils. The highest bulk density, pH and total organic carbon were 0.774±0.001, 9.31±0.032, 36.447±0.005 g.Kg-1 respectively were observed inside Erbil steel company. The concentrations of all the metals were higher within the steel company in comparison with the other sites and the maximum values were 292±0.577, 8.4±0.208, 259±0.577 and 7480±0.866 ppm for Pb, Cd, Cu and Zn respectively. The concentrations of Cd, Cu and Zn in Erbil steel company soil are exceeded the permissible limits for soil. The isolated bacterial genera in Erbil steel company soil were Acinetobacter, Bacillus, Micrococcus, Neisseria, Pseudomonas and Staphylococcus. These isolates are considered tolerant to alkaline pH and elevated levels of heavy metals from the steel company. Minimum Arthrobacter spp. (0.32×105), proteolytic bacteria (0.57×105) and asymbiotic nitrogen-fixers (0.12×105) cfu.g-1 dry soil were in the soil of steel company and minimum bacterial population was observed in Nawroz soil (0.05×107) cfu.g-1 dry soil followed by Erbil steel company soil (0.06×107) cfu.g-1 dry soil. The relationships between the heavy metals and the microbial populations were negative. The correlations among: pH, total organic C, Cu, Pb and Zn were significantly positive.


Ahmad, M. and Malik, A. 2012. Bioaccumulation of heavy metals by zinc resistant bacteria isolated from agricultural soils irrigated with wastewater, Bacteriology Journal, 2, pp. 12-21.
Ahmad, M. 2014. Remediation of metalliferous soils through the heavy metal resistant plant growth promoting bacteria: Paradigms and prospects, Arabian Journal of Chemistry, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.arabjc.2014.11.020
Aneja, K.R. 2003. Experiments in Microbiology, Plant Pathology and Biotechnology, Fourth Edition, New Age International Publishers.
Anjaneyulu, E.; Ramgopal, M.; Narasimha, G. and Balaji, M. 2011. Effect of pig iron slag particles on soil physico-chemical, biological and enzyme activities, Iranica Journal of Energy & Environment, 2(2), pp. 161-165.
Atlas, R.M. 2004. Handbook of Microbiological Media, Third Edition, CRC Press LLC.
Atlas, R.M. 2005. Handbook of Media for Environmental Microbiology, Second Edition, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC, New York.
Atlas, R.M.; Brown, A.E. and Parks, L.C. 1995. Laboratory Manual of Experimental Microbiology, Mosby-Year Book, Inc., USA.
Banerjee, S.; Gothalwal, R.; Sahu, P.K. and Sao, S. 2015. Microbial observation in bioaccumulation of heavy metals from the ash dyke of thermal power plants of chhattisgarh, India, Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology, 6, pp. 131-138.
Barcan, V. 2002. Leaching of nickel and copper from soil contaminated by metallurgical dust, Environment International, 28, pp. 63-68.
Bisessar, S. 1982. Effect of heavy metals on microorganisms in soils near a secondary lead smelter, Water Air Soil Pollut, 17, pp. 305-308.
Dixit, R.; Wasiullah, Malaviya, D.; Pandiyan, K.; Singh, U.B.; Sahu, A.; Shukla, R.; Singh, B.P.; Rai, J.P.; Sharma, P.K.; Lade, H. and Paul, D. 2015. Bioremediation of heavy metals from soil and aquatic environment: an overview of principles and criteria of fundamental processes, Sustainability, 7, pp. 2189-2212.
EPA US (2011): Environmental Protection Agency-United States. Effects of Pollution: Water, Air and Soil.
Goldman, E. and Green, L.H. 2009. Practical Handbook of Microbiology, Second Edition, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Hafeburg, G. and Kothe, E. 2007. Microbes and metals: interactions in the environment, Journal of Basic Microbiology, 47, pp. 453-467.
Harley, J.P. and Prescott, L.M. 2002. Laboratory Exercises in Microbiology, Fifth Edition, The McGraw-Hill Companies.
Hassen, A.; Saidi, N.; Cherif, M. and Boudabous, A. 1998. Resistance of environmental bacteria to heavy metals, Bioresource Technology, 64(1), pp. 7-15.
Hiroki, M. 1992. Effects of heavy metal contamination on soil microbial population, Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, 38(1), pp. 141-147.
Holt, J.G.; Krieg, N.R.; Sneath, P.H.; Staley, J.T. and Williams, S.T. 1994. Bergey’s Manual of Determinative Bacteriology, Ninth edition, Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins, Pub, MD, USA.
Hookoom, M. and Puchooa, D. 2013. Isolation and identification of heavy metals tolerant bacteria from industrial and agricultural areas in Mauritius, Current research in microbiology and biotechnology, 1(3), pp. 119-123.
Hseu, Z.Y.; Chen, Z.S.; Tsai, C.C.; Cheng, S.F.; Liu, C.L. and Lin, H.T. 2002. Digestion methods for total heavy metals in sediments and soils, J. Water Air Soil Pollut, 141, pp. 189-205.
Hu, Y.; Liu, X.; Bai, J.; Shih, K.; Zeng, E.Y. and Cheng, H. 2013. Assessing heavy metal pollution in the surface soils of a region that had undergone three decades of intense industrialization and urbanization, Environ. Sci. Pollut. Res., 20, pp. 6150-6159.
Huang, S.; Peng B.; Yang Z.; Chai L. and Zhou L. 2009. Chromium accumulation, microorganism population and enzyme activities in soils around chromium-containing slag heap of steel alloy factory, Trans. Nonferrous Met. Soc. China, 19, pp. 241-248.
Jaiswal, P.C. 2003. Soil, Plant and Water Analysis, Kalyani Publisher.
Jiang, Q.; Zhang, Y.; Zhang, L.; Zhou, X. and Shi, X. 2014. Microbial characteristics of purple paddy soil in response to Pb pollution, Pak. J. Pharm. Sci., 27(3), pp. 643-648.
Kabata-Pendias, A. and Pendias H. 1999. Biogeochemistry of Trace Elements, Warsaw: PWN Scientific Publishing House.
Lenart, A. and Boroń, P. 2014. The Effect of industrial heavy metal pollution on microbial abundance and diversity in soils-a review, Actinomycetes, 1012(1013), pp. 107-108.
Martinez, M.M.; Gutiérrez, V.; Jannsens, M. and Ortega, R. 2010. Biological soil quality indicators: a review, Current Research, Technology and Education Topics in Applied Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology, pp. 319-328.
McKinney, R.E. 2004. Environmental Pollution Control Microbiology, Marcel Dekker, Inc. USA.
Mirsal, I.A. 2008. Soil Pollution: Origin, Monitoring & Remediation, Second Edition, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, Germany.
Mlitan, A.B. 2013. Heavy metals and microbial toxicity of analysis of soil samples near iron and still factory (Misurata, Libya), Second International Conference on Chemical, Environmental and Biological Sciences (ICCEBS'2013) March 17-18, 2013 Dubai (UAE), pp: 52-55.
Nath, S.; Deb, B. and Sharma, I. 2012. Isolation and characterization of cadmium and lead resistant bacteria, Global Advanced Research Journal of Microbiology, 1(11), pp. 194-198.
Octavia, E. 2013. Research on the heavy metal regime in polluted soils of the Zlatna Area, Ph.D. Thesis, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Cluj Napoca.
Oliveira, A. and Pampulha, M.E. 2006. Effects of long-term heavy metal contamination on soil microbial characteristics, Journal of bioscience and bioengineering, 102(3), pp. 157-161.
Owolabi, J.B. and Hekeu, M.M. 2014. Heavy metal resistance and antibiotic susceptibility pattern of bacteria isolated from selected polluted soils in Lagos and Ota, Nigeria. International Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences, 14 (6), pp. 6-12.
Pansu, M. and Gautheyrou, J. 2006. Handbook of Soil Analysis: Mineralogical, Organic and Inorganic Methods, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Paul, E.A. 2007. Soil Microbiology, Ecology, and Biochemistry, Third edition, Elsevier Inc., UK.
Piotrowska-Seget, Z.; Cycoń, M. and Kozdrój, J. 2005. Metal-tolerant bacteria occurring in heavily polluted soil and mine spoil, Applied Soil Ecology, 28, pp. 237-246.
Ryan, J.; Estefan, G. and Rashid, A. 2001. Soil and Plant Analysis Laboratory Manual, Second Edition, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Aleppo, Syria.
Sevgi, E.; Coral, G.; Gizir, A.M. and Sangün, M.K. 2010. Investigation of heavy metal resistance in some bacterial strains isolated from industrial soils, Turk J Biol., 34, pp. 423-431.
Šmejkalová, M.; Mikanova, O. and Borůvka, L. 2014. Effects of heavy metal concentrations on biological activity of soil micro-organisms, Plant Soil Environ, 49(7), pp. 321-326.
Sobolev, D. and Begonia, M. 2008. Effects of heavy metal contamination upon soil microbes: lead-induced changes in general and denitrifying microbial communities as evidenced by molecular markers, International journal of environmental research and public health, 5(5), pp. 450-456.
Sprocati, A.R.; Alisi, C.; Segre, L.; Tasso, F.; Galletti, M. and Cremisini, C. 2006. Investigating heavy metal resistance, bioaccumulation and metabolic profile of a metallophile microbial consortium native to abandoned mine, Science of the Total Environment, 366, pp. 649-658.
Stanley, H.O.; Odu, N.N. and Immanuel, O.M. 2014. Impact of cement dust pollution on physicochemical and microbiological properties of soil around Lafarge cement WAPCO, EWEKORO, southwestern Nigeria, International J. of Advanced Biological Researches, 4(4), pp. 400-404.
Tamiru, M.; Hamba, Y. and Ahmad, M. 2014. Assessment of heavy metals and antibiotic resistance in rhizobacteria isolated from rhizosphere soils contaminated with tannery effluents in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, International Journal of Innovation and Scientific Research, 11(2), pp. 543-550.
Tang, M.; Chen, J; Aun, Y.; Tong, Y. and Liu, Y. 2014. The absorption and scavenging ability of bacillus in heavy metal contaminated soils (Pb, Zn, and Cr), African J. of Environmental Sceince and Technology, 8(8), pp. 476-481.
Vanita, C.; Piar, C.; Avinash, N.; Kaur, K.J. and Pakade, Y.B. 2014. Evaluation of heavy metals contamination and its genotoxicity in agricultural soil of Amritsar, Punjab, India, Int. J. Res. Chem. and Environ., 4(4), pp. 20-28.
Warmate, A.G.; Ideriah, T.J.; Tamunobereton, I.T.; Udonam, U.E. and Ibaraye, T. 2011. Concentrations of heavy metals in soil and water receiving used engine oil in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, J. Ecol. Natural Environ., 3(2), pp. 54-57.
Weinberg, E.D. 1990. Roles of trace metals in transcriptional control of microbial secondary metabolism, Biology of Metals, 2, pp. 191-196.
Wyszkowska, J.; Kucharski, J.; Borowik, A. and Boros, E. 2008. Response of bacteria to soil contamination with heavy metals, J. Elementol., 13(3), pp. 443-453.
Zhang, Q.; Achal, V.; Xiang, W.N. and Wang, D. 2014. Identification of heavy metal resistant bacteria isolated from Yangtze River, China. Int. J. Agric. Biol, 16, pp. 619-623.
Zhao, K.; Fu, W.; Ye, Z. and Zhang, C. 2015. Contamination and spatial variation of heavy metals in the soil-rice system in Nanxun County, Southeastern China, Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 12, pp. 1577-1594.
How to Cite
“A Study on Soil Bacterial Population in Steel Company and Some Related Area in Erbil City in Relation to Heavy Metal Pollution”. ZANCO Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences, Vol. 28, no. 5, Nov. 2016, pp. 101-16, doi:10.21271/zjpas.v28i5.362.