Õlireostuse mõju Läänemere pinnavee ja setete mikroobikooslustele vôrdlevalt kulmal ja soojal aastaajal
The brackish Baltic Sea (BS) water is under permanent oil pollution pressure due to heavy ship traffic that leads to high risk for tanker accidents, oil spills and large scale oil pollution. Bacteria are key players in biodegradation of the oil derived petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs) in oil-polluted environments. Despite to the sensitive and unique nature of the Baltic Sea only very few studies dealing with the biodegradation potential of oil components by microbial communities are available. Moreover, there is no data concerning the activity of biodegradative bacterial communities at the wintertime. The main aim of the project Is to characterize the biodegradative microbial communities of the sediment and surface water samples of BS comparing probes taken at summer and winter time. The experiments are divided by partners for getting maximum synergy concerning their previous research experiences. The key catabolic genes involved in the biodegradation of aromatic and aliphatic PHC5 will be studied (Finland and Estonla) by using both metagenomic (at the community DNA level) and genomic methods (at the isolated bacterial strains level). The characteristics of the BS water and the composition of the different oils will be determined (Russia) because these arekey questions for successful use of those bacteria for bioaugmeritatlon performances. Also the potential of Isolates and bacterial communities to degrade PHC5 in oil supplemented microcosm experiments will be tested (Finland). Russian partner will study plasmid content of the PHC degrading bacteria as well as horizontal gene transfer in the nature. We are expecting that the isolated indigenous bacterial strains able to degrade PHCs would have potential commercial value and application potential at the accidental oil pollution cases. In this context we are looking forward along the publication of the scientific results and also to perform patent application(s). The graduate students will be involved in the project.