Anaerobic oxidation of petroleum hydrocarbons in enrichment cultures from sediments of the Gorevoy Utes natural oil seep under methanogenic and sulfate-reducing conditions
This article presents the first experimental data on the ability of microbial communities from sediments of the Gorevoy Utes natural oil seep to degrade petroleum hydrocarbons under anaerobic conditions. Like in marine ecosystems associated with oil discharge, available electron acceptors, in particular sulfate ions, affect the composition of the microbial community and the degree of hydrocarbon conversion. The cultivation of the surface sediments under sulfate-reducing conditions led to the
... mation of a more diverse bacterial community and greater loss of n-alkanes (28%) in comparison to methanogenic conditions (6%). Microbial communities of both surface and deep sediments are more oriented to degrade polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), to which the degree of the PAH conversion testifies (up to 46%) irrespective of the present electron acceptors. Uncultured microorganisms with the closest homologues from thermal habitats, sediments of mud volcanoes and environments contaminated with hydrocarbons mainly represented microbial communities of enrichment cultures. The members of the phyla Firmicutes, Chloroflexi, and Caldiserica (OP5), as well as the class Deltaproteobacteria and Methanomicrobia, were mostly found in enrichment cultures and belong to the "core" of microorganisms The influence of gas-saturated fluids may be responsible for the presence in the bacterial 16S rRNA gene libraries of the sequences of "rare taxa": Planctomycetes, Ca. Atribacteria (OP9), Ca. Armatimonadetes (OP10), Ca. Latescibacteria (WS3), Ca. division (AC1), Ca. division (OP11), and Ca. Parcubacteria (OD1), which can be involved in hydrocarbon oxidation.