Submitted to: Biomicroworld Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/19/2005
Publication Date: 12/31/2005
Citation: Rodriguez, N.R., Bueves-Ruvera, A.M., Zaidi, B.R., Imam, S.H. 2005. Enumeration of napthalene and phenanthrene degrading bacteria as an indicator of hydrocarbon pollution in surface waters of guayanilla, Puerto Rico: impact of seasonal variation. Modern Multidisciplinary Applied Microbiology. Mendez-Vilas Antonio (Ed.) Wiley-VCH Publishers, pp 511-514.
Technical Abstract: A study was conducted to determine the microbial potential of Guayanilla Bay surface water to use polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) e.g. naphthalene and phenanthrene as a sole carbon source. The capacity of surface water for utilization of these compounds was correlated with the population density of naphthalene and phenanthrene degrading bacteria found in coastal water samples as an indicator of hydrocarbon pollution. The number of naphthalene and phenanthrene degrading bacteria decreased with distance from the coast. No PAHs degrading bacteria were found in offshore samples used as control. The number of naphthalene degrading bacteria increased in all samples taken during rainy season. Heavy rainfall causes perturbation of sediments rich in organic matter as evidenced by increased turbidities, providing both the environment and the surfaces conducive for microbial growth and proliferation. These observations were further supported by the presence of low levels of dissolved oxygen in water.