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Mar Pollut Bull. 2015 Nov 15;100(1):327-333. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2015.08.029. Epub 2015 Aug 29.

Degradation of oil by fungi isolated from Gulf of Mexico beaches.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry, Haverford College, 370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, PA 19041, United States.
2
Department of Chemistry, Haverford College, 370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, PA 19041, United States. Electronic address: hwhite@alum.mit.edu.

Abstract

Fungi of the Ascomycota phylum were isolated from oil-soaked sand patties collected from beaches following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. To examine their ability to degrade oil, fungal isolates were grown on oiled quartz at 20°C, 30°C and 40°C. Consistent trends in oil degradation were not related to fungal species or temperature and all isolates degraded variable quantities of oil (32-65%). Fungal isolates preferentially degraded short (<C18; 90-99%) as opposed to long (C19-C36; 7-87%) chain n-alkanes and straight chain C17- and C18-n-alkanes (91-99%) compared to their branched counterparts, pristane and phytane (70-98%). Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) compounds were also degraded by the fungal isolates (42-84% total degraded), with a preference for low molecular weight over high molecular weight PAHs. Overall, these findings contribute to our understanding of the capacity of fungi to degrade oil in the coastal marine environment.

KEYWORDS:

Ascomycota; Deepwater Horizon; Petroleum; Sand patties

PMID:
26323859
DOI:
10.1016/j.marpolbul.2015.08.029
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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