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1.  Generalist hydrocarbon-degrading bacterial communities in the oil-polluted water column of the North Sea 
Microbial Biotechnology  2014;8(3):434-447.
The aim of this work was to determine the effect of light crude oil on bacterial communities during an experimental oil spill in the North Sea and in mesocosms (simulating a heavy, enclosed oil spill), and to isolate and characterize hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria from the water column. No oil-induced changes in bacterial community (3 m below the sea surface) were observed 32 h after the experimental spill at sea. In contrast, there was a decrease in the dominant SAR11 phylotype and an increase in Pseudoalteromonas spp. in the oiled mesocosms (investigated by 16S rRNA gene analysis using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis), as a consequence of the longer incubation, closer proximity of the samples to oil, and the lack of replenishment with seawater. A total of 216 strains were isolated from hydrocarbon enrichment cultures, predominantly belonging to the genus Pseudoaltero monas; most strains grew on PAHs, branched and straight-chain alkanes, as well as many other carbon sources. No obligate hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria were isolated or detected, highlighting the potential importance of cosmopolitan marine generalists like Pseudoalteromonas spp. in degrading hydrocarbons in the water column beneath an oil slick, and revealing the susceptibility to oil pollution of SAR11, the most abundant bacterial clade in the surface ocean.
doi:10.1111/1751-7915.12176
PMCID: PMC4408176  PMID: 25251384
2.  Marine crude-oil biodegradation: a central role for interspecies interactions 
Aquatic Biosystems  2012;8:10.
The marine environment is highly susceptible to pollution by petroleum, and so it is important to understand how microorganisms degrade hydrocarbons, and thereby mitigate ecosystem damage. Our understanding about the ecology, physiology, biochemistry and genetics of oil-degrading bacteria and fungi has increased greatly in recent decades; however, individual populations of microbes do not function alone in nature. The diverse array of hydrocarbons present in crude oil requires resource partitioning by microbial populations, and microbial modification of oil components and the surrounding environment will lead to temporal succession. But even when just one type of hydrocarbon is present, a network of direct and indirect interactions within and between species is observed. In this review we consider competition for resources, but focus on some of the key cooperative interactions: consumption of metabolites, biosurfactant production, provision of oxygen and fixed nitrogen. The emphasis is largely on aerobic processes, and especially interactions between bacteria, fungi and microalgae. The self-construction of a functioning community is central to microbial success, and learning how such “microbial modules” interact will be pivotal to enhancing biotechnological processes, including the bioremediation of hydrocarbons.
doi:10.1186/2046-9063-8-10
PMCID: PMC3465203  PMID: 22591596
Hydrocarbon; Crude oil; Salt marsh; Marine microbiology; Biodegradation; Bioremediation; Microbial interactions; Biogeochemistry; Alcanivorax

Results 1-2 (2)