Crude oil bioremediation by alcanivorax borkumensis

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Crude Oil Bioremediation by Alcanivorax borkumensis

Alcanivorax borkumensis is a recognized alkane-degrading organism that has the potential to be useful for crude oil spill bioremediation.

A. borkumensis Overview

Physiology and Phylogeny

A. borkumensis is a gram-negative, rod shaped, aerobic, catalase negative and oxidase positive species (1). A. borkumensis is halotolerant, which is necessary to survive in ocean salinity; optimal NaCl concentration for growth in culture is between 3-10% (1). It can use linear and branched alkanes as a primary fuel source, but cannot use aromatic alkanes for this purpose (1,2). This is an important factor in determining A. borkumensis’ role in bioremediation as discussed in section 5.2. It is classified as a γ-proteobacterium based on 16S rRNA sequencing (1). The γ-proteobacterium class includes another known alkane degrading genus, Marinobacter (1).