PETROLEUM DEGRADATION IN LOW TEMPERATURE MARINE AND ESTUARINE ENVIRONMENTS

Bacterial isolates have been obtained by enrichment culture techniques from Narragansett Bay, R.I. and Chedabucto Bay, Nova Scotia. Hydrocarbon utilization profiles demonstrate some isolates able to utilize aromatic, cyclic and aliphatic hydrocarbons, some isolates able to utilize only cyclic and aliphatic hydrocarbons and other isolates only able to utilize aliphatic hydrocarbons. The isolates have been tentatively assigned to a number of different genera. Temperature studies demonstrated that the isolates are psychrotolerant and hydrocarbons are metabolized at temperatures as low as 0 C. The temperature response is characteristic of a particular isolate and does vary. There are differences in the Q10 of isolates between 10 C and 20 C on n-hexadecane and naphthalene. Quantitative studies of the sediment population at Gaspee Point following a No. 6 Fuel Oil spill indicate a rapid enrichment in the population for bacteria able to metabolize n-dodecane, decalin, naphthalene and No. 1 Fuel Oil. Gas chromatographic analyses show a decrease in sediment hydrocarbons which correlates with the bacterial enrichment. Electron micrographs show increased differentiation of the cytoplasm, distortion and elongation of the cell shape, loss of slime material, formation of large inclusions, multiple nuclear areas and the presence of oxisomes in cells found in the hydrocarbon layer. Cells tend to accumulate at the water-oil interface. Circumstantial evidence suggests that the inclusions are hydrocarbons.

  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Rhode Island, Kingston

    Department of Plant Pathology-Entomology
    Kingston, RI  USA  02881
  • Authors:
    • Traxler, R W
  • Publication Date: 1974-5

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: 52 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00057038
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: University of Rhode Island, Kingston
  • Report/Paper Numbers: #NR-306-076 Ann Rept
  • Contract Numbers: N00014-68A-0215-0013
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 31 1974 12:00AM