Response and oil degradation activities of a northeast Atlantic bacterial community to biogenic and synthetic surfactants

Nikolova, C. N., Ijaz, U. Z. , Magill, C., Kleindienst, S., Joye, S. B. and Gutierrez, T. (2021) Response and oil degradation activities of a northeast Atlantic bacterial community to biogenic and synthetic surfactants. Microbiome, 9(1), 191. (doi: 10.1186/s40168-021-01143-5) (PMID:34548108) (PMCID:PMC8456599)

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Background: Biosurfactants are naturally derived products that play a similar role to synthetic dispersants in oil spill response but are easily biodegradable and less toxic. Using a combination of analytical chemistry, 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing and simulation-based approaches, this study investigated the microbial community dynamics, ecological drivers, functional diversity and robustness, and oil biodegradation potential of a northeast Atlantic marine microbial community to crude oil when exposed to rhamnolipid or synthetic dispersant Finasol OSR52. Results: Psychrophilic Colwellia and Oleispira dominated the community in both the rhamnolipid and Finasol OSR52 treatments initially but later community structure across treatments diverged significantly: Rhodobacteraceae and Vibrio dominated the Finasol-amended treatment, whereas Colwellia, Oleispira, and later Cycloclasticus and Alcanivorax, dominated the rhamnolipid-amended treatment. Key aromatic hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria, like Cycloclasticus, was not observed in the Finasol treatment but it was abundant in the oil-only and rhamnolipid-amended treatments. Overall, Finasol had a significant negative impact on the community diversity, weakened the taxa-functional robustness of the community, and caused a stronger environmental filtering, more so than oil-only and rhamnolipid-amended oil treatments. Rhamnolipid-amended and oil-only treatments had the highest functional diversity, however, the overall oil biodegradation was greater in the Finasol treatment, but aromatic biodegradation was highest in the rhamnolipid treatment. Conclusion: Overall, the natural marine microbial community in the northeast Atlantic responded differently to crude oil dispersed with either synthetic or biogenic surfactants over time, but oil degradation was more enhanced by the synthetic dispersant. Collectively, our results advance the understanding of how rhamnolipid biosurfactants and synthetic dispersant Finasol affect the natural marine microbial community in the FSC, supporting their potential application in oil spills.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This manuscript contains work conducted during a PhD study undertaken as part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Oil and Gas (NE/M00578X/1). It is sponsored by Heriot-Watt University via their James-Watt Scholarship Scheme to CN and whose support is gratefully acknowledged. Partial support was also provided by the Oil & Gas UK to TG, a NERC Independent Research Fellowship (NERC NE/L011956/1) to UZI, and by an Emmy-Noether fellowship grant (number 326028733) from the German Research Foundation (DFG) awarded to SK.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ijaz, Dr Umer
Authors: Nikolova, C. N., Ijaz, U. Z., Magill, C., Kleindienst, S., Joye, S. B., and Gutierrez, T.
Subjects:Q Science > QR Microbiology
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Infrastructure and Environment
Research Centre:Mazumdar-Shaw Advanced Research Centre (ARC) > Global Sustainable Development
Journal Name:Microbiome
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN (Online):2049-2618
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Microbiome 9(1):191
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
170256Understanding microbial community through in situ environmental 'omic data synthesisUmer Zeeshan IjazNatural Environment Research Council (NERC)NE/L011956/1ENG - Infrastructure & Environment