An assessment of the microbial community in an urban fringing tidal marsh with an emphasis on petroleum hydrocarbon degradative genes.

Academic Article


  • Small fringing marshes are ecologically important habitats often impacted by petroleum. We characterized the phylogenetic structure (16S rRNA) and petroleum hydrocarbon degrading alkane hydroxylase genes (alkB and CYP 153A1) in a sediment microbial community from a New Hampshire fringing marsh, using alkane-exposed dilution cultures to enrich for petroleum degrading bacteria. 16S rRNA and alkB analysis demonstrated that the initial sediment community was dominated by Betaproteobacteria (mainly Comamonadaceae) and Gammaproteobacteria (mainly Pseudomonas), while CYP 153A1 sequences predominantly matched Rhizobiales. 24 h of exposure to n-hexane, gasoline, dodecane, or dilution culture alone reduced functional and phylogenetic diversity, enriching for Gammaproteobacteria, especially Pseudomonas. Gammaproteobacteria continued to dominate for 10 days in the n-hexane and no alkane exposed samples, while dodecane and gasoline exposure selected for gram-positive bacteria. The data demonstrate that small fringing marshes in New England harbor petroleum-degrading bacteria, suggesting that petroleum degradation may be an important fringing marsh ecosystem function.
  • Authors

  • Ní Chadhain, Sinéad M
  • Miller, Jarett L
  • Dustin, John P
  • Trethewey, Jeff P
  • Jones, Stephen
  • Launen, Loren A
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • November 2018
  • Published In


  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP4A
  • Fringing marsh
  • Geologic Sediments
  • Microbiota
  • N-alkane
  • New England
  • Petroleum
  • Petroleum Pollution
  • Phylogeny
  • Proteobacteria
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Sediment microbial community
  • Urbanization
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Wetlands
  • alkB
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 351
  • End Page

  • 364
  • Volume

  • 136