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Biotransformation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by yeasts isolated from coastal sediments.

By A R MacGillivray and M P Shiaris


Yeast abundance in the sediments of 13 coastal sites in Massachusetts was quantified, and the potential of yeast isolates to biotransform polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) was determined. Plate counts of yeasts varied between 10(2) to 10(7) CFU g (dry weight) of sediment-1. The most abundant genera isolated and identified included Candida, Cryptococcus, Rhodotorula, Torulopsis, and Trichosporon. More than 50% of the isolates from heavily contaminated sites transformed phenanthrene, as determined by spray-plate screening. The plate counts of phenanthrene-transforming yeasts correlated significantly to the sediment concentrations of phenanthrene. Transformation of [9-14C]phenanthrene and [12-14C]benz[a]anthracene by individual isolates varied greatly, ranging from 0.15 to 8.15 mumol of PAH g-1 in 120-h incubations. Of the isolated yeasts, Trichosporon penicillatum exhibited the greatest capacity for phenanthrene transformation. The ability to transform PAHs appears to be widespread among yeasts in coastal sediments

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1993
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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