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Sulfate-Reducing Naphthalene Degraders Are Picky Eaters

Department of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
Stonybrook Apiary, Pittstown, NJ 08867, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Microorganisms 2018, 6(3), 59;
Received: 4 May 2018 / Revised: 18 June 2018 / Accepted: 21 June 2018 / Published: 25 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolic Diversity of Anaerobic Microbial Communities)
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are common organic contaminants found in anoxic environments. The capacity for PAH biodegradation in unimpacted environments, however, has been understudied. Here we investigate the enrichment, selection, and sustainability of a microbial community from a pristine environment on naphthalene as the only amended carbon source. Pristine coastal sediments were obtained from the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve in Tuckerton, New Jersey, an ecological reserve which has no direct input or source of hydrocarbons. After an initial exposure to naphthalene, primary anaerobic transfer cultures completely degraded 500 µM naphthalene within 139 days. Subsequent transfer cultures mineralized naphthalene within 21 days with stoichiometric sulfate loss. Enriched cultures efficiently utilized only naphthalene and 2-methylnaphthalene from the hydrocarbon mixtures in crude oil. To determine the microorganisms responsible for naphthalene degradation, stable isotope probing was utilized on cultures amended with fully labeled 13C-naphthalene as substrate. Three organisms were found to unambiguously synthesize 13C-DNA from 13C-naphthalene within 7 days. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that 16S rRNA genes from two of these organisms are closely related to the known naphthalene degrading isolates NaphS2 and NaphS3 from PAH-contaminated sites. A third 16S rRNA gene was only distantly related to its closest relative and may represent a novel naphthalene degrading microbe from this environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: naphthalene; anaerobic; biodegradation naphthalene; anaerobic; biodegradation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wolfson, S.J.; Porter, A.W.; Kerkhof, L.J.; McGuinness, L.M.; Prince, R.C.; Young, L.Y. Sulfate-Reducing Naphthalene Degraders Are Picky Eaters. Microorganisms 2018, 6, 59.

AMA Style

Wolfson SJ, Porter AW, Kerkhof LJ, McGuinness LM, Prince RC, Young LY. Sulfate-Reducing Naphthalene Degraders Are Picky Eaters. Microorganisms. 2018; 6(3):59.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wolfson, Sarah J., Abigail W. Porter, Lee J. Kerkhof, Lora M. McGuinness, Roger C. Prince, and Lily Y. Young 2018. "Sulfate-Reducing Naphthalene Degraders Are Picky Eaters" Microorganisms 6, no. 3: 59.

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