By Board on Biology, Ocean Studies Board, National Research Council
This 2-day workshop is the fruits of a learn of the prestige and way forward for marine biotechnology. the general target of this workshop is to ascertain what used to be at the beginning referred to as "Opportunities for Marine Biotechnology within the United States," to contemplate the place we're now during this box of "Environmental Marine Biotechnology," to ascertain the sphere sooner or later, and to debate any impediments that will be encountered alongside the way in which. Opportunities for Environmental purposes of Marine Biotechnology: lawsuits of the October 5-6, 1999, Workshop addresses the query of the place the government may still make investments its constrained money and what destiny tasks can be planned.
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In this case, we have spared the oxygen for the key metabolic activation step. Hence, oxygen is used exclusively for ring activation and nitrate is used for respiration. Thus, microorganisms may have many strategies for biodegradation. Additional questions to be considered are the following: • Are any petroleum components inherently recalcitrant so they are not biodegradable? • Are any petroleum components not bioavailable because of their physical, chemical binding to soils or sediments? • If the answer above is affirmative, then can regulatory criteria reflect this?
The question is whether there is a biotechnology fix for this—perhaps. When we look at some of the crude and refined petroleum oils and the constituents, alkanes, cycloalkanes, and aromatics, we see that all are biodegradable by a variety of microorganisms, by certain groups of mostly aerobic organisms. They use oxygen in their metabolism, which is important. For instance, there is an aerobic pathway for naphthalene that is metabolized to salicylates (salicylic acid), and this is further broken down Biotechnology Center for Agriculture and Environment, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 34 35 SPILLED OIL BIOREMEDIATION TABLE 1.
Microbial Transformation and Degradation of Toxic Organic Chemicals. New York: Wiley-Liss. p 269-306. for respiration. Aerobic organisms use oxygen, and anaerobic organisms, as Dr. Costerton mentioned, can use nitrate. Certain types of microbes also use sulfate and carbonates. This ability is specific. Some organisms, like the denitrifiers, can also use nitrates if oxygen is not available. Others such as the sulfate reducers can only use sulfate and are strict anaerobes. Those that can use carbonate to form methane are called methanogens and are strict anaerobes.