Bacterial population and biodegradation potential in chronically crude oil-contaminated marine sediments are strongly linked to temperature

Rafael Bargiela, Francesca Mapelli, David Rojo, Bessem Chouaia, Jesús Tornés, Sara Borin, Michael Richter, Mercedes V. Del Pozo, Simone Cappello, Christoph Gertler, María Genovese, Renata Denaro, Mónica Martínez-Martínez, Stilianos Fodelianakis, Ranya A. Amer, David Bigazzi, Xifang Han, Jianwei Chen, Tatyana N. Chernikova, Olga V. GolyshinaMouna Mahjoubi, Atef Jaouanil, Fatima Benzha, Mirko Magagnini, Emad Hussein, Fuad Al-Horani, Ameur Cherif, Mohamed Blaghen, Yasser R. Abdel-Fattah, Nicolas Kalogerakis, Coral Barbas, Hanan I. Malkawi, Peter N. Golyshin, Michail M. Yakimov, Daniele Daffonchio, Manuel Ferrer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two of the largest crude oil-polluted areas in the world are the semi-enclosed Mediterranean and Red Seas, but the effect of chronic pollution remains incompletely understood on a large scale. We compared the influence of environmental and geographical constraints and anthropogenic forces (hydrocarbon input) on bacterial communities in eight geographically separated oil-polluted sites along the coastlines of the Mediterranean and Red Seas. The differences in community compositions and their biodegradation potential were primarily associated (P < 0.05) with both temperature and chemical diversity. Furthermore, we observed a link between temperature and chemical and biological diversity that was stronger in chronically polluted sites than in pristine ones where accidental oil spills occurred. We propose that low temperature increases bacterial richness while decreasing catabolic diversity and that chronic pollution promotes catabolic diversification. Our results further suggest that the bacterial populations in chronically polluted sites may respond more promptly in degrading petroleum after accidental oil spills.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalScientific Reports
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 29 2015

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