Project Page

Biodegradation of "Hidden" High Molecular Weight Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons: Closing Critical Research Gaps

Implementing Organization

University of Central Florida


DWH Project Funding


Known Leveraged Funding


Funding Organization

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI)

Funding Program

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative GoMRI Grant Program


Project Category


Project Actions

Physical Aspects Research

Targeted Resources

Microbial Communities

Project Description

The objectives of the proposed study are to (1) determine the ability of known PAH-degrading bacterial species to degrade HMW-PAH MW ? 302 compounds in pure cultures and identify the metabolic degradation products using fluorescence spectroscopy with emphasis on PAH-metabolites that are known to be carcinogenic; and (2) identify new, environmentally relevant bacteria capable of degrading HMW-PAH MW ? 302 compounds through sediment enrichment incubations using both culture-dependent isolation techniques and culture-independent techniques (i.e., metagenomics). These objectives will be achieved through an integrated research program coupling microbiological and state-of-the-art analytical techniques in order to investigate the microbial degradation of recalcitrant HMW-PAH organic compounds with a goal to better understand the microbial response to oil spills.


Melanie J. Beazley
Project Website
Project Partners


Affiliated Institutions


+ View Raw Data