Impact of oil spills on coral reefs can be reduced by bioremediation using probiotic microbiota

Henrique Fragoso Ados Santos, Gustavo Adolpho Santos Duarte, Caio Tavoracoelho Da Costa Rachid, Ricardo Moreira Chaloub, Emiliano Nicolas Calderon, Laura Fernandes De Barros Marangoni, Adalto Bianchini, Adriana Haddad Nudi, Flávia Lima Do Carmo, Jan Dirk Van Elsas, Alexandre Soares Rosado, Clovis Barreira E. Castro, Raquel Silva Peixoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Several anthropogenic factors, including contamination by oil spills, constitute a threat to coral reef health. Current methodologies to remediate polluted marine environments are based on the use of chemical dispersants; however, these can be toxic to the coral holobiont. In this study, a probiotic bacterial consortium was produced from the coral Mussismilia harttii and was trained to degrade water-soluble oil fractions (WSFs). Additionally, we assessed the effect of WSFs on the health of M. harttii in tanks and evaluated the bacterial consortium as a bioremediation agent. The consortium was responsible for the highly efficient degradation of petroleum hydrocarbons, and it minimised the effects of WSFs on coral health, as indicated by raised photosynthetic efficiencies. Moreover, the impact of WSFs on the coral microbiome was diminished by the introduced bacterial consortium. Following introduction, the bacterial consortium thus had a dual function, i.e promoting oil WSF degradation and improving coral health with its probiotic features.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - Dec 14 2015
Externally publishedYes

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Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2021-02-16


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