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J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2016, 4(1), 13; doi:10.3390/jmse4010013

Potential Impacts of PCBs on Sediment Microbiomes in a Tropical Marine Environment

1
Department of Geological Sciences, College of Arts and Science, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33146, USA
2
Department of Ocean Sciences, Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33149, USA
3
Department of Marine Geosciences, Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33149, USA
4
Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, Delft, 2628CN, The Netherlands
5
Department of Public Health Sciences, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33136, USA
6
Department of Chemistry, College of Arts and Science, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33146, USA
7
Department of Chemistry, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33146, USA
8
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33136, USA
9
Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33146, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jose Victor Lopez
Received: 8 December 2015 / Revised: 25 January 2016 / Accepted: 29 January 2016 / Published: 22 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Microbial Communities: Biodiversity, Composition and Function)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2147 KB, uploaded 22 February 2016]   |  

Abstract

Within the tropical marine study site of Guánica Bay, Puerto Rico, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are subjected to coastal and oceanic currents coupled with marine microbial and geochemical processes. To evaluate these processes a hydrodynamic model was developed to simulate the transport of PCBs within nearshore and offshore marine areas of Guánica Bay. Material transport and circulation information from the model were matched with measurements from samples collected from within the bay. These samples, consisting of both intertidal and submerged sediments, were analyzed for physical characteristics (organic carbon, grain size, and mineralogy), microbial characteristics (target bacteria levels and microbial community analyses), presence of PCBs, and PCB-degrading enzymes. Results show that the bay geometry and bathymetry limit the mixing of the extremely high levels of PCBs observed in the eastern portion of the bay. Bay bottom sediments showed the highest levels of PCBs and these sediments were characterized by high organic carbon content and finer grain size. Detectable levels of PCBs were also observed within sediments found along the shore. Microbes from the bay bottom sediments showed a greater relative abundance of microbes from the Chloroflexi, phylum with close phylogenetic associations with known anaerobic PCB-degrading organisms. Based on quantitative PCR measurement of the biphenyl dioxygenase gene, the intertidal sediments showed the greatest potential for aerobic PCB degradation. These results elucidate particular mechanisms of PCB’s fate and transport in coastal, tropical marine environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: polychlorinated biphenyls; PCBs; hydrodynamics; transport; marine sediments; microbiome polychlorinated biphenyls; PCBs; hydrodynamics; transport; marine sediments; microbiome
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Klaus, J.S.; Kourafalou, V.H.; Piggot, A.M.; Reniers, A.; Kang, H.; Kumar, N.; Zahran, E.M.; Bachas, L.G.; Fernandez, A.; Gardinali, P.; Toborek, M.; Daunert, S.; Deo, S.; Solo-Gabriele, H.M. Potential Impacts of PCBs on Sediment Microbiomes in a Tropical Marine Environment. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2016, 4, 13.

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J. Mar. Sci. Eng. EISSN 2077-1312 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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