Mucondo well was at 1500 metres below the sea surface. 0.7 million tonnes of oil entered the Gulf of Mexico in 84 days since the spill began on April 20, 2010. That’s about 280 Olympic size swimming pools full of crude oil.
Revealing the identity of oil-degrading microorganisms at Deepwater Horizon - Tony Gutierrez
Revealing the Identity ofOil-Degrading Microorganisms at Deepwater Horizon ….and a little more
Overview1. Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the GoM. Where did most of the oil go? Who’s responsible?2. On the formation of ‘Oily Snot’ during DWH spill.3. FISH’n for oil-degrading bacteria.4. Knowns and Unknowns about the DWH spill.
Identifying Who Degraded the Oil by Stable-Isotope Probing (SIP)A Uniformly-labeled trans-2-hydroxy- Incorporation of the 13C 13C Naphthalene benzylidenepyruvate atoms into cellular biomass (e.g. DNA) Degradation OH Further metabolism COO- “ Heavy ” DNA O Incubation of sample onB labeled 13C PAHs Whole DNA “ light ” extract Assimilation of label - PCR of 16S rRNA by active microbes DNA - Cloning - Sequencing “ heavy ”
Gutierrez, T. (2011) Rev Environ Sci Bio/Technol.
What about that ‘Oily Snot’ A Hydrocarbon concentration (mg/L) 50 40 30 20 10 0 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 Polymer concentration (mg/mL) B1 10 mm 500 2 400 300 Percent change PE5 200 7 100 0 0 0 -100 B6 B11
FISH’n for Oil-Degrading Bacteria ( Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization ) G-T-G-C-C-G-C-T-A-T-C-G-A-A-T-T-C-G
Gulf of Mexico Plume Water Enriched with Oil Beginning of enrichment 4 days later Marinobacter (green/yellow)Marinobacter (green) + DAPI (blue) vs. others (red)
Overview about the DWH Oil Spill:a microbial perspectiveKnowns:- Mobility / Fate of the oil- Bacteria largely responsible in ultimate removal of the oil- The types of bacteria that dominated and were likely responsible for degrading much of the oil- We know that all of the oil is now gone from the water column; but residual oil remains in the sediment.Not-So-Well Knowns:- Detail on the microbial response and succession of this response over the course of the spill- What diversity of bacteria contributed, and by how much? What was their function?
AcknowledgementsColleagues/Collaborators• Prof. Mike Aitken (UNC, Chapel Hill)• Prof. Andreas Teske (UNC, Chapel Hill)• Dr. Kirk Semple (Univ. Lancaster)• Dr. Alexander Loy (Univ. Vienna, Austria)• Luke McKay (UNC, Chapel Hill)• Tingting Yang (UNC, Chapel Hill)• Sara Mishamandani (UNC, Chapel Hill)Funders• European Commission (Marie Curie Programme)• NSF Rapid Response Grant• UNC fellowship program