FUNGAL DEGRADATION OF OIL IN THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT

Accelerated addition of petroleum products into the environment may significantly affect the energy exchange and overall productivity of marine ecosystems. Biodegradation of hydrocarbon compounds has been demonstrated for many taxa of yeast and molds. C. lipolytica has been researched for its ability to develop microbial protein from varied constituents of petroleum. Ecological studies have largely involved the analysis of the response of terrestrial fungi to oil pollution; more data on the marine mycota response to oil intrusion is needed. Hydrocarbon yeasts are widespread in the neritic environment and may occur in high densities in surface slicks. The rate of degradation and emulsification of crude oil by commonly marine occurring yeasts, however, is relatively slow compared with yeasts from chronically oil-polluted sites. Following catastrophic oil disasters, certain of the indigenous yeasts of surface slicks are selectively stimulated, but a sustained increase in yeast biomass does not occur even though ample organic substrate in the form of oil is readily available. Studies are needed on the response of representative taxa of the marine mycota to oil breakdown (both biotic and abiotic) products, and to fungal population densities in association with hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria at sites of active biodegradation. No single microorganism, or combination of organisms is known to be capable of completely degrading crude oil.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • From the book "Recent Advances in Aquatic Mycology", edited by E.B.G. Jones.
  • Corporate Authors:

    John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated

    111 River Street
    Hoboken, NJ  USA  07030-6000
  • Authors:
    • Ahearn, D G
    • Meyers, S P
  • Publication Date: 1976

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 125-133

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00157252
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Pollution Abstracts
  • Contract Numbers: ONRN000H071-C-0145
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 19 1977 12:00AM