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FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2009 Nov;70(2):324-33. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2009.00774.x. Epub 2009 Aug 28.

Microarray-based analysis of microbial functional diversity along an oil contamination gradient in oil field.

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Jiangsu Polytechnic University, Jiangsu, China.


To understand better the in situ microbial functional diversity under oil contamination stress, soils were sampled along a contamination gradient at an oil field in north-east China. Microbial community functional structure was examined with a functional gene array, termed GeoChip. Multivariate statistical analysis and meta-analysis were conducted to study the functional gene responses to oil concentrations. The total functional gene abundance and diversity decreased along the gradient of increasing contamination. The overall abundance of soil bacteria, archaea and fungi decreased to 10%, 40% and 80% of those in the pristine soil. Several functional genes in the families pgl, rbcL, nifH and nor and those encoding cellulase, laccase, chitinase, urease and key enzymes in metabolizing organic compounds were significantly decreased with oil contamination, especially under high contamination stress. However, a few genes encoding key enzymes for catechol, protocatechuate, and biphenyl degradation and in the gene families of nir, rbcL and pgl showed a significant increase at a medium level of oil contamination. Oil content and soil available nitrogen were found to be important factors influencing the microbial community structure. The results provide an insight into microbial functional diversity in oil-contaminated soils, providing potential information for on-site management and remediation measures.

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