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Biodegradation of toxic chemicals in Guayanilla Bay, Puerto Rico.

Studies were conducted to assess the factors that may influence the rate and extent of biodegradation of biphenyl, naphthalene, phenanthrene, pentachlorophenol (PCP) and p-nitrophenol in water samples collected from the Guayanilla Bay (18 degrees N; 67.45 degrees W), southwest of Puerto Rico. In vitro studies mediated slow degradation of biphenyl, naphthalene and phenanthrene substrates by natural microbial flora present in the Bay. Addition of KNO(3) as a source of inorganic N greatly enhanced the degradation of phenanthrene but not of naphthalene, suggesting that effects on degradation due to nutrient limitation were compound specific. The rate and extent of degradation of naphthalene and PCP were higher in water samples collected closer to the source of contamination, i.e. the petrochemical complex. The identity of a phenanthrene degrading bacterium, previously identified by conventional phenotypic method (Zaidi et al., Utilizing Nature's Advanced Materials, Oxford Unviersity Press, 1999) as Alteromonas sp., was confirmed by partial DNA sequencing of the small subunit rRNA gene.[1]

References

  1. Biodegradation of toxic chemicals in Guayanilla Bay, Puerto Rico. Zaidi, B.R., Hinkey, L.M., Rodríguez, N.R., Govind, N.S., Imam, S.H. Mar. Pollut. Bull. (2003) [Pubmed]
 
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