Isolation, Characterization, and Polyaromatic Hydrocarbon Degradation Potential of Aerobic Bacteria from Marine Macrofaunal Burrow Sediments and Description of Lutibacterium anuloederans gen. nov., sp. nov., and Cycloclasticus spirillensus sp. nov.

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Two new polyaromatic hydrocarbon-degrading marine bacteria have been isolated from burrow wall sediments of benthic macrofauna by using enrichments on phenanthrene. Strain LC8 (from a polychaete) and strain M4-6 (from a mollusc) are aerobic and gram negative and require sodium chloride (>1%) for growth. Both strains can use 2- and 3-ring polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons as their sole carbon and energy sources, but they are nutritionally versatile. Physiological and phylogenetic analyses based on 16S ribosomal DNA sequences suggest that strain M4-6 belongs to the genus Cycloclasticus and represents a new species, Cycloclasticus spirillensus sp. nov. Strain LC8 appears to represent a new genus and species, Lutibacterium anuloederans gen. nov., sp. nov., within the Sphingomonadaceae. However, when inoculated into sediment slurries with or without exogenous phenanthrene, only L. anuloederans appeared to sustain a significant phenanthrene uptake potential throughout a 35-day incubation. In addition, only L. anuloederans appeared to enhance phenanthrene degradation in heavily contaminated sediment from Little Mystic Cove, Boston Harbor, Boston, Mass.

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Applied and Environmental Microbiology

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