Scientists at the American Society for Microbiology have found in a new study that marine bacteria in the cold waters of the Arctic can biodegrade oil and diesel. The results are published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Microbiologists have performed genomic sequencing, during which they have discovered unexpected potential for hydrocarbon bioremediation in bacterial strains including Paraperlucidibaca, Cycloclasticus and Zhongshania. In the future, they can play a key role in responding to oil spills in the marine environment in the Arctic. In addition, research has shown that nutrient supplementation at low temperatures enhances the biodegradation of hydrocarbons.

Over the past few years, industrial activity has increased in the cold waters of the Arctic. This increases the risk of oil or fuel spills. At the same time, the region is quite remote, therefore, the elimination of emergency oil spills is difficult.

During the study, scientists simulated oil spill response. The experiments were carried out at 4 ° C. Modeling has shown that natural bacteria that decompose oil in the ocean are nature’s first reagents to oil spills.