Conversion of Uric Acid into Ammonium in Oil-Degrading Marine Microbial Communities: a Possible Role of Halomonads.

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Microbial ecology, ISSN: 1432-184X, Vol: 70, Issue: 3, Page: 724-40

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Gertler, Christoph; Bargiela, Rafael; Mapelli, Francesca; Han, Xifang; Chen, Jianwei; Hai, Tran; Amer, Ranya A.; Mahjoubi, Mouna; Malkawi, Hanan Issa; Magagnini, Mirko; Cherif, Ameur; Abdel-Fattah, Yasser Refaat; Kalogerakis, Nicolas E.; Daffonchio, Daniele; Ferrer, Manuel; Golyshin, Peter N. Show More Hide
Springer Nature; Springer Science + Business Media; Springer Verlag
Agricultural and Biological Sciences; Environmental Science; Alcanivorax; Bioremediation; Crude oil degradation
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Uric acid is a promising hydrophobic nitrogen source for biostimulation of microbial activities in oil-impacted marine environments. This study investigated metabolic processes and microbial community changes in a series of microcosms using sediment from the Mediterranean and the Red Sea amended with ammonium and uric acid. Respiration, emulsification, ammonium and protein concentration measurements suggested a rapid production of ammonium from uric acid accompanied by the development of microbial communities containing hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria after 3 weeks of incubation. About 80 % of uric acid was converted to ammonium within the first few days of the experiment. Microbial population dynamics were investigated by Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis and Illumina sequencing as well as by culture-based techniques. Resulting data indicated that strains related to Halomonas spp. converted uric acid into ammonium, which stimulated growth of microbial consortia dominated by Alcanivorax spp. and Pseudomonas spp. Several strains of Halomonas spp. were isolated on uric acid as the sole carbon source showed location specificity. These results point towards a possible role of halomonads in the conversion of uric acid to ammonium utilized by hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria.