How Oil-Degrading Bacteria Are Working At Each Part Of An Affected Coastline
Following manual cleanup at Fourchon Beach, La., on May 27, 2010, booms made out of plastic pom-poms are set to protect the sandy beach area. Captions and Photo source: NOAA
Bacteria living in the Gulf of Mexico beaches were able to ‘eat up’ the contamination from the Deep Water Horizon oil spill by supplementing their diet with nitrogen, delegates at the Goldschmidt conference will be told today, Friday 30th August.
Professor Joel Kostka will tell geochemists gathered in Florence for the conference that detailed genetic analysis showed some of the bacteria thrived on a diet of oil because they were able to fix nitrogen from the air. The research, the first to use next generation sequencing technologies to dig into the detail of how the native beach microbes are metabolising the oil over time, could open the door to much more sophisticated clean up techniques…