Microbial degradation has long been recognized as the key rescue mechanism in shaping the oil polluted marine environments and the role of indigenous populations or their functional genomics have never been explored from Indian marine environments, post an oil spill event. In the current study, high throughput metagenomic analysis, PLFA profiling and mass spectrophotometric analysis was performed in combination with metabolomics to capture signature variations among the microbial communities in sediment, water and laboratory enrichments. Contrary to the previous reports, the bloom of Pseudomonadales (specifically genus Acinetobacter) in oiled sediment and Methylococcales in oiled water outnumbered the relative abundance of Alcanivorax in response to hydrocarbon contamination. Overall enhancement of xenobiotic degradation was suggested by metabolomic analysis in sediment and water post the spill event and varying quantitative assemblage of enzymes were found to be involved in hydrocarbon utilization. Laboratory enrichments revealed the competitive advantage of sediment communities over the water communities although unique taxa belonging to the later were also found to be enriched under in vitro conditions. Simultaneous analysis of sediment and water in the study provided explicit evidences on existence of differential microbial community dynamics, offering insight into possibilities of formulating nature identical solutions for hydrocarbon pollution.
Conflict of interest statement
The authors declare no competing interests.
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