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Degradation of crude oil in a contaminated tidal flat area and the resilience of bacterial community

Lee, Jaejin, Han, Il, Kang, Bo Ram, Kim, Seong Heon, Sul, Woo Jun, Lee, Tae Kwon
Marine pollution bulletin 2017 v.114 no.1 pp. 296-301
Alcanivorax, Cycloclasticus, Thalassolituus, bacteria, bacterial communities, disasters, genes, oil spills, oils, petroleum, sediment contamination, sediments, temporal variation, water pollution, China, South Korea
Crude oil spills, Hebei Spirit in South Korea, is considered as one of the worst environmental disasters of the region. Our understanding on activation of oil-degrading bacteria and resilience of microbial community in oil contaminated sites are limited due to scarcity of such event. In the present study, tidal flat sediment contaminated by the oil spill were investigated for duration of 13months to identify temporal change in microbial community and functional genes responsible for PAH-degradation. The results showed predominance of previously known oil-degrading genera, such as Cycloclasticus, Alcanivorax, and Thalassolituus, displaying significant increase within first four months of the accident. The disturbance caused by the oil spill altered the microbial community and its functional structures, but they were almost restored to the original state after 13months. Present study demonstrated high detoxification capacity of indigenous bacterial populations in the tidal flat sediments and its resilience of microbial community.