Biodegradation of "Hidden" High Molecular Weight Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons: Closing Critical Research Gaps
University of Central Florida
DWH Project Funding
Known Leveraged Funding
Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI)
Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative GoMRI Grant Program
Physical Aspects Research
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.