Saturday, June 7, 2008

Cyanobacteria Feed On Crude Oil

Cyanobacteria (aka blue green algae), the alleged source of petroleum according to biogenic theory, feeds on crude oil. In other words, far from generating crude oil (and precisely the opposite), it destroys it.

Utilization of hydrocarbons by cyanobacteria from microbial mats on oily coasts of the Gulf.

Several pieces of evidence indicate that Microcoleus chthonoplastes and Phormidium corium, the predominant cyanobacteria in microbial mats on crude oil polluting the Arabian Gulf coasts, contribute to oil degradation by consuming individual n-alkanes. Both cyanobacteria grew phototrophically better in the presence of crude oil or individual n-alkanes than in their absence, indicating that hydrocarbons may have been utilized. This result was true when growth was measured in terms of dry biomass, as well as in terms of the content of biliprotein, the accessory pigment characteristic of cyanobacteria. The phototrophic biomass production by P. corium was directly proportional to the concentration of n-nonadecane (C19) in the medium
Enviromentalists in the Middle East and elsewhere use cyanobacteria to clean up oil spills.

When polluted gulf areas are left alone, extensive mats of blue-green algae appear on the oil layers (Al-Hasan et al., 1992). The mats are only associated with the oiled areas and the oil-free areas are free of the cyanobacterial mats. The microbial mats appear to be the only living things in the area. The microorganisms are both photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic. Included in the mats is an organothophic bacteria which is capable of utilizing crude oil as a sole source of carbon and energy (Al-Hasan et al., 1992). It is believed that cyanobacteria can at most initiate the biodegradation of hydrocarbons in oil by oxidizing them only to the corresponding alcohols (Al-Hasan et al., 1994). Bacteria, yeast and fungi can then consume hydrocarbons by initially oxidizing then to alcohols, aldehydes, and finally to fatty acids, then degrading them further by beta oxidation to acetyl coenzyme A which can be used for the production of cell material and energy (Al-Hasan et al., 1994).
Cyanobacteria are hydrocarbon destroyers not hydrocarbon generators.

1 comment:

Anaconda said...


How would life on Earth begin? Most likely it would copy inorganic materials that were abundant and chemically reactive with high potential energy (to fuel the "life").

And chemically flexible, so that the chemicals (molecules) have many permutations and can react in many different ways.

This copying capability is the spark of life.

What would the first life feed upon? This writer speculates that "life" would consume the material it was, in fact, created out of (particularly if the material has high energy potential), so that conversion of ingested material would be relatively simple and not energy intensive (early life's fast food).

How would it change "food" or engested materials over time from one source to another?

This writer proposes that it would retain engestion capablility of it's original food source, while attaining cabability to engest a seperate food source of abundance.

Sunlight provides energy in abundance.

There is an inexact example: Amphibians start with gills for taking oxygen out of water, but then develop lungs to take oxygen out of air -- breathing.

Could it be that the eariest life developed from oil and other minerals out of 'solfataric soup'?

Oil is reactive, oil is chemically flexible, oil allows many permutations or interactions. Oil has high potential energy.

Cyanobacteria, also known as, blue green algae is an example of "life" that has two food sources -- oil and photosynthesis.

Could it be that cyanobacteria is an example of "change over" from a consumption of oil that evolved to photosynthesis, while retaining the capability to engest oil for energy?

Cyanobacteria are a living example of the earliest life on Earth.

Are cyanobacteria and oil the key to understanding the start of life on Earth?

The above monologue constitutes a hypothesis of the origin of life.

Is "fossil" theory holding back science from understanding the origins of life on Earth?

If so, then "fossil" theory has got to go the way of the dinosaurs -- become extinct.