Final report : microbiology research for the BLM South Atlantic Program 1977
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This report contains data and information on the presence of and activity of bacteria that utilize oil in the South Atlantic area off the coast of Georgia, Florida and South Carolina. Oil degrading bacteria were present at all stations tested: 6 surface, 12 subsurface and 25 sediments were sampled in the shelf region during Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall of 1977. The numbers were low relative to nearshore waters elsewhere reported in the literature but were proportional to the low indigenous hydrocarbons found in the same area. Biological Oxidation Demand tests on the research vessel indicated that there were sufficient nutrients and bacteria to respond to a South Louisiana crude oil used as a standard for the experiments and a lower molecular weight straight chain, cyclic and branched chain pure hydrocarbon. Laboratory experiments indicated that the bacteria were comprised of several strains of bacteria and mixed and pure cultures selected for degradation rate studies demonstrated active oil degradation, utilizing a large percent of hydrocarbons offered in the cultural conditions. Data on molecular change of a crude oil indicates the production of Pristane and Phytane, and the general rather uniform loss of all other molecules in the Hexane fractions. No excessive build up of any molecule from the crude oil was detected other than the above. Nutrient studies indicated that inorganic nitrogen and phosphorous were required, but when compared to in situ concentrations suggested that sufficient nutrient was available for small amounts of oil degradation.
August 16, 1978