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Brazilian offshore crude oil exploration has increased after the discovery of new reservoirs in the region known as pré-sal, in a depth of 7.000 m under the water surface. Oceanic Islands near these areas represent sensitive environments, where changes in microbial communities due to oil contamination could cause the loss of metabolic functions, with catastrophic effects to the soil services provided from these locations. This work aimed to evaluate the effect of petroleum contamination on microbial community shifts (Archaea, Bacteria and Fungi) from Trindade Island coastal soils. Microcosms were assembled and divided into two treatments, control and contaminated (weathered crude oil at the concentration of 30 g kg-1), in triplicate. Soils were incubated for 38 days, with CO2 measurements every four hours. After incubation, the total DNA was extracted, purified and submitted for high-throughput target sequencing of 16S rDNA, for Bacteria and Archaea domains and Fungal ITS1 region, using the Illumina MiSeq platform. Three days after contamination, the CO2 emission rate peaked at more than 20x the control and the emissions remained higher during the whole incubation period. Microbial alpha-diversity was reduced for contaminated-samples. Fungal relative abundance of contaminated samples was reduced to almost 40% of the total observed species. Taxonomy comparisons showed a rise of the Actinobacteria phylum, shifts in several Proteobacteria classes and reduction of the Archaea class Nitrososphaerales in oil contaminated microcosms. This is the first effort in acquiring knowledge concerning the effect of crude oil contamination in soils of a Brazilian oceanic island. This information is important to guide any future bioremediation strategy that may be required.
This version 2 has several changes to increase the text objectivity and clarify the aim and the importance of the study. We re-evaluated the abundance changes between taxa, improved the figures and created an experimental design scheme following the reviewers recommendations. It was resubmitted to PeerJ as the reviewers considered that this manuscript needed major reviews.
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