Special Issue "Oil Biodegradation and Bioremediation in Cold Marine Environment 2.0"

A special issue of Microorganisms (ISSN 2076-2607). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Microbiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2023) | Viewed by 888

Special Issue Editor

Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
Interests: comparative metagenomic analysis of oil-degrading marine microbiome; development and application of environmental biotechnology for treatment of polluted soil and water
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Marine oil spills are important threats to sea ecosystems, including coastal environments, even more so in colder climates where oil pollution is more persistent due to low temperatures and low light intensity, slowing the spilled oil’s self-dispersal. Oil spill mitigation in Arctic regions also presents a challenge due to poorly accessible locations and extreme weather, which can complicate or totally impede the usage of traditional oil spills clean-up methods such as booms, skimmers, and pumping systems. Therefore, microbial-based biotechnologies, such as those harnessing the potential of oil compound degradation by indigenous microbes, have been suggested to be more suitable for such regions due to their relatively easy implementation, cost-effectiveness, and smaller impact on the environment. Among oil bioremediation approaches, bioelectrochemical systems for enhancing the microbial oxidation of oil compounds in marine water or sediments are extremely appealing since they have the potential to serve as permanent, low-cost and low-maintenance solutions. The interaction of oil pollution and emerging pollutants like microplastics on marine oil-degrading microbial communities needs attention and incorporation into marine oil bioremediation solutions. The impact of oil compounds on the animal microbiome in cold marine environments must also be assessed as one of the consequences of oil spills.

This Special Issue will publish papers that address:

  • Microbial communities and metabolic pathways responsible for the degradation of different oil fractions in different marine compartments of the cold marine environment.
  • The microbial ecology of oil biodegradation in the case of co-contamination, particularly microplastics.
  • The impact of marine oil pollution on animal microbiomes.
  • The development and application of bioremediation approaches for marine oil spill response in cold climates and ice-infested areas, including bioelectrochemical systems.

Prof. Dr. Jaak Truu
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Microorganisms is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • oil biodegradation and bioremediation
  • microbial community
  • marine environment
  • arctic
  • microplastics
  • animal microbiome
  • bioelectrochemical systems

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Effects of Dispersant on the Petroleum Hydrocarbon Biodegradation and Microbial Communities in Seawater from the Baltic Sea and Norwegian Sea
Microorganisms 2023, 11(4), 882; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11040882 - 29 Mar 2023
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Dispersants have been used in several oil spill accidents, but little information is available on their effectiveness in Baltic Sea conditions with low salinity and cold seawater. This study investigated the effects of dispersant use on petroleum hydrocarbon biodegradation rates and bacterial community [...] Read more.
Dispersants have been used in several oil spill accidents, but little information is available on their effectiveness in Baltic Sea conditions with low salinity and cold seawater. This study investigated the effects of dispersant use on petroleum hydrocarbon biodegradation rates and bacterial community structures. Microcosm experiments were conducted at 5 °C for 12 days with North Sea crude oil and dispersant Finasol 51 with open sea Gulf of Bothnia and coastal Gulf of Finland and Norwegian Sea seawater. Petroleum hydrocarbon concentrations were analysed with GC-FID. Bacterial community structures were studied using 16S rDNA gene amplicon sequencing, and the abundance of genes involved in hydrocarbon degradation with quantitative PCR. The highest oil degradation gene abundances and oil removal were observed in microcosms with coastal seawater from the Gulf of Bothnia and Gulf of Finland, respectively, and the lowest in the seawater from the Norwegian Sea. Dispersant usage caused apparent effects on bacterial communities in all treatments; however, the dispersant’s effect on the biodegradation rate was unclear due to uncertainties with chemical analysis and variation in oil concentrations used in the experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oil Biodegradation and Bioremediation in Cold Marine Environment 2.0)
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