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Communities of marine microrganisms for oil degradation

Reference no: EVK3-CT-2002-00077
Acronym: COMMODE
Period: November 2002 till October 2005
Status: Completed

Thesaurus term: Oil pollution
Geographical term: Europe [Marine Regions]

Institutes (5)  Top 
  • Hellenic Centre for Marine Research; Institute of Oceanography, more, partner
  • Technische Universität Carolo-Wilhelmina zu Braunschweig, more, partner
  • University of Essex; Department of Biological Sciences, more, partner
  • Tel-Aviv University, more, partner
  • Italian National Research Council; Institute for Coastal Marine Environment (IAMC), more, partner

Marine ecosystems and the fossil fuel petroleum oil are major natural resources whose use necessitates sustainable practices. Oil is toxic and its mining, transport and use results in much pollution, particularly of marine ecosystems. Some marine microorganisms degrade oil and play a crucial role in reducing its pollution impact thereby constituting a major factor in the sustainability equation, but we know almost nothing about them, and are not able to rationally influence their beneficial activity. In order to fill this critical knowledge gap, and elucidate the identity and functional roles of the most important degraders, the biogeography and phylogenetic and functional diversity of oil-degrading bacteria, the structure and function of oil-based microbial communities in which they act, population dynamics and degradation rates of such communities in response to oil pollution, will be studied and the potential for rational intervention to enhance their beneficial activities assessed

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