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Marine microorganisms make a meal of oil

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Ian Head, Dr Martin Jones, Dr Wilfred Roling

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Abstract

Hundreds of millions of litres of petroleum enter the environment from both natural and anthropogenic sources every year. The input from natural marine oil seeps alone would be enough to cover all of the world's oceans in a layer of oil 20 molecules thick. That the globe is not swamped with oil is testament to the efficiency and versatility of the networks of microorganisms that degrade hydrocarbons, some of which have recently begun to reveal the secrets of when and how they exploit hydrocarbons as a source of carbon and energy.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Head IM, Jones DM, Roling WFM

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Nature Reviews: Microbiology

Year: 2006

Volume: 4

Issue: 3

Pages: 173-182

ISSN (print): 1740-1526

ISSN (electronic): 1740-1534

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nrmicro1348

DOI: 10.1038/nrmicro1348


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