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Lett Appl Microbiol. 2010 Feb;50(2):234-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1472-765X.2009.02766.x. Epub 2009 Oct 31.

Isolation of alkane-degrading bacteria from deep-sea Mediterranean sediments.

Author information

1
Laboratoire de Microbiologie Géochimie et Ecologie Marines, CNRS/INSU, UMR 6117, Centre d'Océanologie de Marseille, Université de la Méditerranée, Campus de Luminy, Case 901, Marseille Cedex 9, France.

Abstract

AIMS:

To isolate and identify alkane-degrading bacteria from deep-sea superficial sediments sampled at a north-western Mediterranean station.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Sediments from the water/sediment interface at a 2400 m depth were sampled with a multicorer at the ANTARES site off the French Mediterranean coast and were promptly enriched with Maya crude oil as the sole source of carbon and energy. Alkane-degrading bacteria belonging to the genera Alcanivorax, Pseudomonas, Marinobacter, Rhodococcus and Clavibacter-like were isolated, indicating that the same groups were potentially involved in hydrocarbon biodegradation in deep sea as in coastal waters.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results confirm that members of Alcanivorax are important obligate alkane degraders in deep-sea environments and coexist with other degrading bacteria inhabiting the deep-subsurface sediment of the Mediterranean.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

The results suggest that the isolates obtained have potential applications in bioremediation strategies in deep-sea environments and highlight the need to identify specific piezophilic hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria (HCB) from these environments.

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