Biodegradation in the Estuarine-Marine Environments and the Genetically Altered Microbe

  • Al W. Bourquin
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 28)


Many chemicals enter the marine and estuarine environment through a variety of routes. These routes include dumping, direct application, outfalls, accidental spills, and land runoff or rainfall. Some of these compounds are toxic to the biota or may be converted to toxic products in nature. The fate and ecological effects of these chemicals in estuarine environments is part of the concern of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Laboratory at Gulf Breeze, Florida. Toxicity results when an organism is exposed to a sufficient concentration of a compound. Therefore, fate greatly influences the cumulative effect of a chemical on the biota.


Biochemical Oxygen Demand Methyl Parathion Estuarine Environment Range Point Control Core 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Reish, D.R., S. Steven, A.J. Mearns, P.S. Oshida, and F.G. Wilkes (1979) Marine and estuarine pollution. J. Water Pollut. Control Fed. 51(6): 1477–1517.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Reish, D.J., G.G. Geesey, T.J. Kauwling, F.G. Wilkes, A.J. Mearns, P.S. Oshida, and S.S. Rossi (1980) Marine and estuarine pollution. J. Water Pollut. Control Fed. 52(6):1533–1575.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Reish, D.J., G.G. Geesey, F.G. Wilkes, P.S. Oshida, A.J. Mearns, S.S. Rossi, and T.C. Ginn (1982) Marine and estuarine pollution. J. Water Pollut. Control Fed. 54(6):786–812.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Rubinstein, N.I., E. Lores, and N.R. Gregory (1983) Accumulation of PCB’s, mercury and cadmium by Nereis virens, Mercenaria mercenaria and Palaemonetes pugio from contaminated harbor sediments. Aquatic Toxicol. 3:249–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hedgement, G.D. (1972) The evolution of metabolic pathways in bacteria. In Degradation of Synthetic Organic Molecules in the Biosphere, I.C. Gunsalus, ed. National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., pp. 56–72.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bourquin, A.W., P.H. Pritchard, and W.R. Mahaffey (1978) Effects of kepone on estuarine microorganisms. Dev. Ind. Microbiol. 19:489–497.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bourquin, A.W., J.C. Spain, and P.H. Pritchard (1981) Microbial degradation of xenobiotic compounds. In Proceedings of the 12th Annual Conference on Environmental Toxicology, AFMRL-TR-81–149, Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio, pp. 354–369.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Novick, R.P. and C. Roth (1968) Plasmid linked resistance to inorganic salts in Staphylococcus aurenus. J. Bacteriol. 95:1335–42.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Smith, D.H. (1967) R-Factors mediate resistance to mercury, nickel and cobalt. Science 156:1114–16.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Chakrabarty, A.M. (1976) Plasmids in Pseudomonas. In Annual Rev. Genet., L. Roman, A. Campbell, and L.M. Sadler, eds. 10:7–30.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Johnston, J.B., and S.G. Robinson (1982) The development of new pollution control technologies using genetic engineering methods-assessment of problems and opportunities. In Conference on Genetic Engineering, Raven Press, New York, p. 24.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Weinberg, S.R., and G. Strotzky (1972) Conjugation and genetic recombination of Escherichia coli in soil. Soil Biol. Biochem. 4:171–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Graham, J.B., and C.A. Istock (1978) Genetic exchange in Bacillus subtilis in soil. Mol. Gen. 166:287–290.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kaplan, A.M. (1979) Prediction from laboratory studies of bio-degradation of pollutants in “natural” environments. In Proceedings of the Workshop Microbial Degradation of Pollutants in Marine Environments, A.W. Bourquin and P.H. Pritchard, eds. EPA-600/979–012, pp. 497–484.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kaplan, A.M. (1977) Microbial degradation of materials in laboratory and natural environments. Dev. Ind. Microbiol. 18:203–211.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Giam, C.S. (1978) Pthalate ester plasticizers, DDT, DDE, and polychlorinated biphenyls in biota from the Gulf of Mexico. Marine Pollut. Bull. (G.B.) 9:249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Bourquin, A.W. and V.A. Przybyszewski (1977) Distribution of bacteria with nitrilotriacetate-degrading potential in an estuarine environment. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 34(4):411–418.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Thompson, J.E., and J.R. Dunthrie (1968) The biodegradability and treatability of NTA. J. Water Pollut. Control Fed. 40:306–319.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Swisher, R.D., M.M. Crutchfield, and D.W. Caldwell (1967) Degradation of nitrilotriacetic acid in activated sludge. Environ. Sci. Technol. 1:820–827.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Tiedge, J.M., and B.B. Mason (1974) Biodegradation of nitrilo-triacetate (NTA) in soils. Soil Sci. 38:278–283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Davis, E.M., J. Bishop, and R.K. Guthrie (1979) Resistance of pollutants to degradation in saline environments. In Proceedings of Workshop: Microbial Degradation of Pollutants in Marine Environments, A.W. Bourquin and P.H. Pritchard, eds. EPA-600/ 9–79–012, pp. 337–347.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Ward, D.M., and T.D. Brock (1978) Hydrocarbon biodegradaton in hypersaline Environments. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 35:353–359.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Wright, R.T. (1979) Natural heterotrophic activity in estuarine and coastal waters. In Proceedings of the Workshop: Microbial Degradation of Pollutants in Marine Environments, A.W. Bourquin and P.H. Pritchard, eds. EPA-600/9–79–012, pp. 119–134.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Pritchard, P.H., A.W. Bourquin, H.L. Frederickson, and T. Maziarz (1979) System design factors affecting environmental fate studies in microcosms. In Proceedings of the Workshop: Microbial Degradation of Pollutants in Marine Environments, A.W. Bourquin and P.H. Pritchard, eds. EPA-600/9–79–012, pp. 251–272.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Spain, J.C., P.H. Pritchard, and A.W. Bourquin (1980) Effects of adaption on biodégradation rates in sediment/water cores from estuarine and freshwater environments. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 40:726–734.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Spain, J.C., and P.A. VanVeld (1983) Adaption of natural micro-biol communities to degradation of xenobiotic compounds: effects of concentration, exposure time, inoculum, and chemical structure. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 45(2):428–435.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Stotzky, G., and V.N. Krasovsky (1981) Ecological factors that affect the survival, establishment, growth and genetic recombination of microbes in natural habitats. In Molecular Biology, Pathogenicity, and Ecology of Bacterial Plasmids, S.B. Levy, R.C. Clowes, and E.L. Koenig, eds. Plenum Press, New York, pp. 31–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Curtiss, III R. (1976) Genetic Manipulation of Microorganisms: Potential Benefits and Biohazards. Ann. Rev. Microbiol. 30:307–533.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Al W. Bourquin
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Research LaboratoryU.S. Environmental Protection AgencyGulf BreezeUSA

Personalised recommendations