Ever since the transportation of fuel and oil has started through the sea and ocean, incidents of oil spills have begun. These spills create fatal situations and circumstances for marine life. The oil spills form a layer on the surface of the water, preventing oxygen from entering the deeper layers of water where the marine life resides. Moreover, these spills cause bad odor and overall damage to nature. Hence, they must be avoided or compensated at all costs.
Researchers have located a kind of bacteria that has the ability to digest crude oil and fuel. This means that this species can break down the oil that spills, alleviating the problem. They are located in the Canadian Arctic Ocean. The exact location would be along the coast of the Labrador Sea, the portion of the North Atlantic Ocean between the Labrador Peninsula of eastern Canada and Greenland. The research was carried out at the University of Calgary in Canada. The whole report is now published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
In a lab, a fake oil spill situation was recreated by the researchers. The water was chilled to 4 degrees Celsius to emulate the conditions at the Labrador Sea. Bacteria like Paraperlucidibaca, Cycloclasticus, and Zhongshania showed promise to carry out hydrocarbon biodegradation.
This ability was promoted and accelerated if the bacteria were given nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous. These elements act like food for these creatures and enable them to perform well. Owing to the climate crisis, the Sea is going to be less frozen from now onwards. This means that the ships can commute through its water easily, creating more chances of such spills. These bacteria are going to be extremely helpful in combatting any of such accidents and preserving marine life.