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Hydrocarbon degradation by Antarctic coastal bacteria


Cavanagh, JE and Nichols, PD and Franzmann, PD and McMeekin, TA, Hydrocarbon degradation by Antarctic coastal bacteria, Antarctic Science, 10, (4) pp. 386-397. ISSN 0954-1020 (1998) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1017/S0954102098000479


Bacterial cultures obtained through selective enrichment of beach sand collected 60 days and one year after treatment of sites in a pilot oil spill trial conducted at Airport Beach, Vestfold Hills, East Antarctica, were examined for the ability to degrade n-alkanes and phenanthrene. The effects of different hydrocarbon mixtures (Special Antarctic Blend [SAB] and BP-Visco), fish oil [orange roughy]) and inoculation of replicate sites with water from Organic Lake (previously shown to contain hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria) on the indigenous microbial population were examined. Of the cultures obtained, those from sites treated with SAB and BP-Visco degraded n-alkanes most consistently and typically to the greatest extent. Two mixed cultures obtained from samples collected at 60 days and two isolates obtained from these cultures extensively degraded phenanthrene. 1-Hydroxy-naphthoic acid formed the major phenanthrene metabolite. Lower levels of salicylic acid, 1-naphthol, 1,4-naphthaquinone and phenanthrene 9-10 dihydrodiol were detected in extracts of phenanthrene grown cultures. This study shows that under laboratory conditions indigenous Antarctic bacteria can degrade n-alkanes and the more recalcitrant polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, phenanthrene. The enrichment of hydrocarbon degrading microorganisms in Antarctic ecosystems exposed to hydrocarbons is relevant for the long term fate hydrocarbon spills in this environment.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Cavanagh, JE (Ms Joanne Elizabeth Cavanagh)
UTAS Author:Nichols, PD (Dr Peter Nichols)
UTAS Author:McMeekin, TA (Professor Thomas McMeekin)
ID Code:13312
Year Published:1998
Web of Science® Times Cited:20
Deposited By:Agricultural Science
Deposited On:1998-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-08

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