Degradation of oil by fungi isolated from Gulf of Mexico beaches

Fungi of the Ascomycota phylum were isolated from oil-soaked sand patties collected from beaches following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. To examine their ability to degrade oil, fungal isolates were grown on oiled quartz at 20°C, 30°C and 40°C. Consistent trends in oil degradation were not related to fungal species or temperature and all isolates degraded variable quantities of oil (32-65%). Fungal isolates preferentially degraded short (