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Stancu M.M.,Institute of Biology of Bucharest Romanian Academy | Vila J.,University of Barcelona
Environmental Forensics | Year: 2013

DNA extracted from seawater enrichment cultures was examined for the presence of known catabolic genes, which could be used as molecular biomarkers for environmental forensic analysis of hydrocarbon polluted sites. The PCR analysis indicated that the bacteria present in the seawater sample possess alkane hydroxylase Group II (alkM) and Group III (alkB/alkB1) genes, toluene/xylene monooxygenase (xylM) and catechol 2,3-dioxygenase (C23DO) genes. Escherichia coli IBBCt1, isolated from the seawater sample, was able to tolerate individual n-alkanes and also kerosene. Supplementing the minimal medium with different co-substrates had different effect on the tolerance and on the physiological response of E coli IBBCt1 to the presence of n-alkanes and kerosene in the culture medium. Cell tolerance, viability, and adhesion of E coli IBBCt1 in the presence of 1% (v/v) n-alkanes and kerosene differed according to the nature of the hydrophobic substrate and to the culture conditions. Growth of E coli IBBCt1 cells on n-alkanes and kerosene resulted in the decrease of cell hydrophobicity, phospholipids modification and protein profile modification. High resistance of E coli IBBCt1 cells to n-alkanes and kerosene could be explained by the existence of some catabolic (alkB/alkB1) and transporter (HAE1, acrAB) genes. Furthermore, xylM and C23DO genes were also detected in this bacterium. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

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