Ten fungal species isolated from tar balls collected from the beaches of Oman were tested for their abilities to grow and degrade n-alkanes and crude oil. The abilities of Aspergillus niger, A. ochraceus and Penicillium chrysogenum to degrade n-alkanes (C13-C18), crude oil were compared and their mycelial biomass was measured. Significant differences were found in the utilization of C15, C16, C17 and C18 by the three fungi. Similarly, significant differences we found in the amount of biomass produced by the three fungi growing on C13, C17, C18 and crude oil. The correlation coefficient of biomass and oil utilization was not statistically significant for Aspergillus niger, significant for Aspergillus terreus and highly significant for P. chrysogenum.
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