Mangrove bacterial diversity and the impact of oil contamination revealed by pyrosequencing: Bacterial proxies for oil pollution

Henrique Fragoso Dos Santos, Juliano Carvalho Cury, Flávia Lima do Carmo, Adriana Lopes Dos Santos, James Tiedje, Jan Dirk van Elsas, Alexandre Soares Rosado, Raquel Silva Peixoto

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207 Scopus citations


Background: Mangroves are transitional coastal ecosystems in tropical and sub-tropical regions and represent biologically important and productive ecosystems. Despite their great ecological and economic importance, mangroves are often situated in areas of high anthropogenic influence, being exposed to pollutants, such as those released by oil spills. Methodology/Principal Findings: A microcosm experiment was conducted, which simulated an oil spill in previously pristine mangrove sediment. The effect of the oil spill on the extant microbial community was studied using direct pyrosequencing. Extensive bacterial diversity was observed in the pristine mangrove sediment, even after oil contamination. The number of different OTUs only detected in contaminated samples was significantly higher than the number of OTUs only detected in non-contaminated samples. The phylum Proteobacteria, in particular the classes Gammaproteobacteria and Deltaproteobacteria, were prevalent before and after the simulated oil spill. On the other hand, the order Chromatiales and the genus Haliea decreased upon exposure to 2 and 5% oil, these are proposed as sensitive indicators of oil contamination. Three other genera, Marinobacterium, Marinobacter and Cycloclasticus increased their prevalence when confronted with oil. These groups are possible targets for the biomonitoring of the impact of oil in mangrove settings. Conclusions/Significance: We suggest the use of sequences of the selected genera as proxies for oil pollution, using qPCR assessments. The quantification of these genera in distinct mangrove systems in relation to the local oil levels would permit the evaluation of the level of perturbance of mangroves, being useful in field monitoring. Considering the importance of mangroves to many other environments and the susceptibility of such areas to oil spills this manuscript will be of broad interest. © 2011 dos Santos et al.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 10 2011
Externally publishedYes

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