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The determination of microbial hydrocarbon metabolism in natural environments

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An investigation was made of the hydrocarbon-oxidising microorganisms in an upland moorland soil and the underlying shale band. The results obtained were in agreement with an earlier survey, although the methods used were not the same. The procedures used involve the assessment of numbers and activities of hydrocarbon oxidisers. The population studies were done, on this occasion, using the buried slide technique which, although simple to perform, did not always reveal the trends known to occur at the sites investigated. The metabolic activity of the micro-organisms was measured either respirometrically or by following the disappearance of the substrate. The respirometric methods were much less cumbersome and more sensitive to changes in the metabolic pattern in the samples. Of the two approaches the measurement of activity would appear to be the more useful since population studies yield no information on the rates at which micro-organisms are capable of degrading and thus removing contaminating oil from any given environment.

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Jones, J.G. The determination of microbial hydrocarbon metabolism in natural environments. Archiv. Mikrobiol. 67, 397–407 (1969). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00412585

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  • Hydrocarbon
  • Shale
  • Metabolic Activity
  • Natural Environment
  • Metabolic Pattern