« When the End Is the Story | Main | Plasmalogens Have Evolved Twice »


Mark O. Martin

The idea of developing oil-degrading microbes in the laboratory and applying them to oil spills sounds appealing. But it appears as if that approach does not work well, for a very straightforward reason: organisms must be adapted to the environment in which you release them, if you expect them to proper and grow. Here is a short reference:


In the "olden days," agricultural scientists would find "better" strains of Rhizobium that more efficiently fixed nitrogen. When those strains were applied to fields, they didn't work as well as had been hoped. This is because. again, the new bacteria could not compete in that particular environment. If soil is a complex environment, imagine the bacterioneuston!

This is why most folks involved in bioremediation try to encourage the desired microbes to prosper from the extant population.

But there are also people working of better understanding that process....

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)