Navigation Links
Microbes in mud flats clean up oil spill chemicals
Date:3/29/2009

Micro-organisms occurring naturally in coastal mudflats have an essential role to play in cleaning up pollution by breaking down petrochemical residues. Research by Dr Efe Aganbi and colleagues from the University of Essex, presented at the Society for General Microbiology's meeting at Harrogate today (Monday 30 April), reveals essential differences in the speed of degradation of the chemicals depending on whether or not oxygen is present. In aerobic conditions (where oxygen is present), benzene, toluene and naphthalene, which all occur in petroleum, were rapidly degraded by microbes. In the absence of oxygen degradation was slower and only toluene was significantly broken down. This means that in a healthy marine ecosystem where the water is oxygenated, petrochemical contamination can biodegraded by micro-organisms, but if the oxygen supply is depleted by pollution and other processes leading to the breakdown of organic matter in the soil, the contamination will persist. While almost all known aromatic hydrocarbons (the petroleum breakdown products) are degraded with oxygen only a few can be completely broken down in the absence of oxygen. However, in a contaminated environment oxygen is quickly depleted and anaerobic breakdown (without oxygen) becomes an important mechanism for getting rid of contaminants

The scientists also investigated the impact of the three chemicals on the make-up of different estuarine microbial communities. Over time the types of micro-organisms changed as the compounds were degraded. In aerobic conditions, benzene and toluene did not appear to affect community structure but naphthalene stimulated the growth of Cycloclasticus spirillensus, a bacterium known to break down oil residues. These bacteria might be used as a natural way of cleaning up pollution.

"Our work shows that microbes are very versatile and can live on most types of chemicals" said Dr Aganbi, "More work is needed to identify bacteria in these mud sediments as little is known about the range of bacteria present. Estuaries are ideal locations for refineries and petrochemical facilities it is essential that mudflats are preserved to provide a natural clean-up area for pollution".


'/>"/>

Contact: Dianne Stilwell
d.stilwell@sgm.ac.uk
07-957-200-214
Society for General Microbiology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Special issue of BMC Microbiology spotlights standardized language for describing microbes
2. Microbes fuel energy debate
3. Our microbes, ourselves
4. Understanding extinct microbes may influence the state of modern human health
5. Evolution in action: Our antibodies take evolutionary leaps to fight microbes
6. Study helps clarify role of soil microbes in global warming
7. Biosolids microbes pose manageable risk to workers
8. New Systems Biology Awards enable detailed study of microbes
9. NSF approves $1.3M for OSU and OU microbes hunt
10. Analysis of Lake Washington microbes shows the power of metagenomic approaches
11. Microbes, by latitudes and altitudes, shed new light on lifes diversity
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS ... to expand at a CAGR of 25.76% during the ... is the primary factor for the growth of the ... https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4807905/ MARKET INSIGHTS The global stem ... technology, application, and geography. The stem cell market of ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... March 30, 2017 The research team of ... three-dimensional (3D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground breaking 3D fingerprint minutiae ... realm of speed and accuracy for use in identification, crime investigation, ... cost. ... A research ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... N.Y. , March 27, 2017  Catholic ... Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for ... EMR Adoption Model sm . In addition, CHS ... of U.S. hospitals using an electronic medical record ... for its high level of EMR usage in ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... Kenall, ... modular downlights designed to stay tightly sealed and perform efficiently for years. The ... wet location listings just aren't enough, such as: hospitals; behavioral health facilities; cleanrooms; ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... Ca (PRWEB) , ... August 14, 2017 , ... ... poorly characterized and performing antibodies. Key researchers in the antibody community have recently ... characterization and consistency for antibodies in the laboratory. , The team ...
(Date:8/11/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 11, 2017 , ... A staple ... campaign this month that will incorporate important key elements including a new digital marketing ... community that has supported them, Bill Miller has partnered with the South Texas Blood ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... ... August 09, 2017 , ... ... next week-- as students. From August 14th through the 16th, the University City ... debuted in the summer of 2016, provides Philadelphia-based middle school educators an opportunity ...
Breaking Biology Technology: