Q. Which of the following is/are a species of oil-cleaning bacteria?
1. Alcanivorax borkumensis
2. Natrialba Swarupiae
3. Geobacter bacteria
Select the correct answer from the codes given below:

[A] 1 and 2 only

[B] 2 and 3 only

[C] 1 and 3 only

[D] 1, 2 and 3

Answer: C

Below are some examples of oil-cleaning bacteria: 

  • NY3: The “NY3” has an “extraordinary capacity” to produce rhamnolipids that can help break down oil and then degrade some of its most serious toxic compounds. 
  • Geobacter bacteria: They were the first organisms found to oxidise organic compounds to carbon dioxide. They can convert the organic compounds in oil spills into carbon dioxide. 
  • Alcanivorax borkumensis: This rod-shaped microbe lives in all the world’s oceans with a special preference for oil-polluted areas, as it uses hydrocarbon molecules for food. 
  • Oilzapper: Developed by TERI & partly supported by the DBT (Department of Biotechnology), the Oilzapper is essentially a cocktail of five different bacterial strains that are immobilized and mixed with a carrier material (powdered corncob). The Oilzapper feeds on hydrocarbon compounds present in crude oil and oily sludge (a hazardous hydrocarbon waste generated by oil refineries) and converts them into harmless CO2 and water.