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Response of sulfate-reducing bacteria to an artificial oil-spill in a coastal marine sediment

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ana Suarez Suarez


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In situ mesocosm experiments using a calcareous sand flat from a coastal area of the island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean Sea were performed in order to study the response of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) to controlled crude oil contamination, or heavy contamination with naphthalene. Changes in the microbial community caused by the contamination were monitored by a combination of comparative sequence analysis of 16S rRNA genes, fluorescence in situ hybridization, cultivation approaches and metabolic activity rates. Our results showed that crude oil and naphthalene negatively influenced the total microbial community as the natural increase in cell numbers due to the seasonal dynamics was attenuated. However, both contaminants enhanced the sulfate reduction rates, as well as the culturability of SRB. Our results suggested the presence of autochthonous deltaproteobacterial SRBs that were able to degrade crude oil or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons such as naphthalene in anaerobic sediment layers.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Suárez-Suárez A, López-López A, Tovar-Sánchez A, Yarza P, Orfila A, Terrados J, Arnds J, Marqués S, Niemann H, Schmitt-Kopplin P, Amann R, Rosselló-Móra R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environmental Microbiology

Year: 2011

Volume: 13

Issue: 6

Pages: 1488-1499

Print publication date: 17/03/2011

ISSN (print): 1462-2912

ISSN (electronic): 1462-2920

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2011.02451.x


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