291797 Bioremediation of the Gulf Coast with Mushrooms and Microbes

Monday, October 29, 2012
Hall B (Convention Center )
Audrey Oldenkamp and Dr. Skip Rochefort, Chemical Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) have already been proven to degrade diesel fuels, but never tested against crude oil. Oily wetlands, marshes and coastal areas along the Gulf of Mexico are the prime focus area because the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010 is still affecting these areas today. Many areas were cleaned and contained using booms, vacuums and burning which are time and energy intensive.  Using a combination of microbes and mushrooms, a symbiotic degradation combination is hopeful.  Cultures of Nocardioides CF8, an alkane degrader, were cultivated in the presence of sodium lactate to promote degradation. Sodium lactate activates the enzyme for a particular butane monoxygenase that degrades alkanes.  Mushrooms were grown in small-scale oily environments to determine if degradation of crude oil was possible. The goal of this project is to see how applications of mushrooms and microbes could help bioremediate wetlands, marshes and coastal areas still affected by the Gulf Oil Spill.

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