Biotechnologies for Marine Oil Spill Cleanup: Indissoluble Ties with Microorganisms

Francesca Mapelli, Alberto Scoma, Gregoire Michoud, Federico Aulenta, Nico Boon, Sara Borin, Nicolas Kalogerakis, Daniele Daffonchio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations

Abstract

The ubiquitous exploitation of petroleum hydrocarbons (HCs) has been accompanied by accidental spills and chronic pollution in marine ecosystems, including the deep ocean. Physicochemical technologies are available for oil spill cleanup, but HCs must ultimately be mineralized by microorganisms. How environmental factors drive the assembly and activity of HC-degrading microbial communities remains unknown, limiting our capacity to integrate microorganism-based cleanup strategies with current physicochemical remediation technologies. In this review, we summarize recent findings about microbial physiology, metabolism and ecology and describe how microbes can be exploited to create improved biotechnological solutions to clean up marine surface and deep waters, sediments and beaches.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)860-870
Number of pages11
JournalTrends in Biotechnology
Volume35
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 13 2017

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