Microbial community composition, functions, and activities in the gulf of mexico 1 year after the deepwater horizon accident

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.01470-15
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TypeArticle
Journal titleApplied and Environmental Microbiology
ISSN0099-2240
Volume81
Issue17
Pages58555866; # of pages: 12
SubjectBacteria; Microorganisms; Mineralogy; Sediments; Wellheads; Deepwater horizons; Metatranscriptomics; Microbial communities; Mineralization assays; Reference stations; Surficial sediments
AbstractSeveral studies have assessed the effects of the released oil on microbes, either during or immediately after the Deepwater Horizon accident. However, little is known about the potential longer-term persistent effects on microbial communities and their functions. In this study, one water column station near the wellhead (3.78 km southwest of the wellhead), one water column reference station outside the affected area (37.77 km southeast of the wellhead), and deep-sea sediments near the wellhead (3.66 km southeast of the wellhead) were sampled 1 year after the capping of the well. In order to analyze microbial community composition, function, and activity, we used metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, and mineralization assays. Mineralization of hexadecane was significantly higher at the wellhead station at a depth of ~1,200 m than at the reference station. Community composition based on taxonomical or functional data showed that the samples taken at a depth of ~1,200 m were significantly more dissimilar between the stations than at other depths (surface, 100 m, 750 m, and >1,500 m). Both Bacteria and Archaea showed reduced activity at depths of ~1,200 m when the wellhead station was compared to the reference station, and their activity was significantly higher in surficial sediments than in 10-cm sediments. Surficial sediments also harbored significantly different active genera than did 5- and 10-cm sediments. For the remaining microbial parameters assessed, no significant differences could be observed between the wellhead and reference stations and between surface and 5- to 10-cm-deep sediments.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); Energy, Mining and Environment
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21276949
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Record identifierc4b9443f-4862-4e3e-a576-72cee6ff1d02
Record created2015-11-10
Record modified2016-05-09
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