Petroleum Degradation in Low Temperature Marine and Estuarine Environments.
Annual rept. no. 2, 1 May-31 Dec 74,
RHODE ISLAND UNIV KINGSTON DEPT OF PLANT PATHOLOGY-ENTOMOLOGY
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Enrichment of hydrocarbon and fuel oil utilizing bacteria was shown following an oil spill in Narragansett Bay and chemical analyses of sediments from the spill site confirmed the role of biodegradation. Biodegradation did occur during the winter months at a rate of 1-1.8 micrograms of hydrocarbon per gram of sediment per day. Laboratory culture and BOD methods showed degradation rates higher than the measured in situ rates but demonstrated the presence of psychrophilic hydrocarbon metabolizing microbial populations in the natural environment during the winter. Laboroatory Q10 values at 10 and 20C for psychrotolerant isolates were less than 2.0. Filamentous fungi were isolated which metabolized petroleum hydrocarbons with the formation of inclusions peculiar to hydrocarbon grown cultures.