Author(s): Vila J, Mara Nieto J, Mertens J, Springael D, Grifoll M
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Abstract A marine microbial consortium obtained from a beach contaminated by the Prestige oil spill proved highly efficient in removing the different hydrocarbon families present in this heavy fuel oil. Seawater cultures showed a complete removal of all the linear and branched alkanes, an extensive attack on three to five-ring polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons [PAHs; including anthracene, fluoranthene, pyrene, benzo(a)anthracene, chrysene, and benzo(a)pyrene] (30-100\%), and a considerable depletion of their alkyl derivatives. Community dynamics analysis revealed that Alcanivorax species, known alkane degraders, predominated in the initial stages. This was followed by an increase in Alphaproteobacteria (i.e. Maricaulis, Roseovarius), which coincided with the depletion of low molecular PAHs. Finally, these were succeeded by Gammaproteobacteria (mainly Marinobacter and Methylophaga), which were involved in the degradation of the high molecular-weight PAHs. The role of these populations in the removal of the specific components was confirmed by the analysis of subcultures established using the aliphatic or the aromatic fraction of the fuel oil, or single PAHs, as carbon sources. The genus Marinobacter seemed to play a major role in the degradation of a variety of hydrocarbons, as several members of this group were isolated from the different enrichment cultures and grew on plates with hexadecane or single PAHs as sole carbon sources.
This article was published in FEMS Microbiol Ecol
and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation