We've updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data.

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience, read our Cookie Policy

© 2021 Technology Networks, all rights reserved

Soil Remediation Aided by Oil-Eating Worms

News   Nov 10, 2020

Original story from Kazan Federal University

Dark-field image of crude oil droplets (a) and hyperspectral dark-field image of nematode intestine merged with hyperspectral crude oil mapping (b), obtained using reflected light spectra of intact crude oil and oil in intestine of C. elegans nematode (c). Dark-field microscopy images demonstrating the localisation of crude oil in the Dauer larvae nematodes' intestines after incubation for 42 h from L1 larvae stage: inside the foregut (d); in the midgut (e) and inside the hindgut (f). Credit: Kazan Federal University.

The bionanotechnology Lab of Kazan Federal University is working on adapting nematodes to consume oil waste.

Co-author, Chief Research Associate Rawil Fakhrullin explains, "We've improved existing methods of biological remediation of soils. Our lab experiment was successful, and we have a new way of delivering oil-consuming bacteria into the soil."


The team wanted to find out whether parasitic nematodes can serve as "public transit" for marine bacteria which can consume and break down oil products into fatty acids.


"We took Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes and fed them Alcanivorax borkumensis bacteria. Nematodes have bacteria as a usual part of their diet, so there were no negative consequences for them. Furthermore, undigested bacteria changed the gut microflora of worms, which led to enhanced digestion of oil, and then left their bodies through natural ways. As another takeaway from the experiment, we found out that worms can themselves eat oil products if they are not fed anything else," says Fakhrullin.


In the worms' guts, oil dissipates into small particles of 5-6 micrometers, and bacteria easily break them down further. "Petroleum is a complex system, and there are many variations of it. We experimented with oil found in Tatarstan. We have yet to find out which components other types of oil produce while digested by nematodes," adds the researcher. As he assumes, the technology may be feasible for water bodies as well as soils.

Reference
Shaikhulova S, Fakhrullina G, Nigamatzyanova L, Akhatova F, Fakhrullin R. Worms eat oil: Alcanivorax borkumensis hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria colonise Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes intestines as a first step towards oil spills zooremediation. Science of The Total Environment. Published online October 27, 2020:143209. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.143209

This article has been republished from the following materials. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

RELATED NEWS

Large Mammals Essential for Soil Health

News

Scientists have demonstrated that in tropical forests, animals like peccaries and tapirs boost soil levels of nitrogen, an essential element to plant growth.

READ MORE

Tracking AAV Gene Transfer Vector Biodistribution

News

The biodistribution of adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene transfer vectors can be measured in nonhuman primates using a new method. The method quantifies whole-body and organ-specific AAV capsids from 1 to 72 hours after administration.

READ MORE

Nutrient Could Help the Body Fight Bacterial Infections

News

Scientists studying the body’s natural defenses against bacterial infection have identified a nutrient — taurine — that helps the gut recall prior infections and kill invading bacteria, such as Klebsiella pneumoniae. The finding could aid efforts in seeking alternatives to antibiotics.

READ MORE

Like what you just read? You can find similar content on the communities below.

Analysis & Separations Immunology & Microbiology

Related Content