We will continue to analyze our articles on bioremediation presented in Module 1:

Robinson, D. (2010). Can microbes clean up oil spills?

http://www.open.edu/openlearn/body-mind/can-microbes-clean-oil-spills Perry, W. (2012). Can Fungi Clean Up a SuperFund Site? http://www.livescience.com/20573-fungal-cleanup-newtown-creek.html

Biello, David. (2010). Clean Up the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill : Bacteria and other microbes are the only thing that will ultimately clean up the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Scientific American. May 25, 2010.

As you analyze the information in these articles, think back to the evolution of life on our planet and the videos you watched in Module 1. One theory of the evolution of life suggests that life evolved in a chemical “soup” of ingredients that under the right conditions facilitated the collection of molecules into primitive cells. In order to maintain organization, these primitive cells needed to acquire resources from their oceanic environment, harvest the energy from these sources, and use it to maintain the structures that worked well and build new structures to accomplish future work and survival. This process is termed “metabolism,” and organisms have evolved many strategies in order to accomplish life-sustaining chemical transformations.

In order to continue your analyses, you must first be able to explain some of the important metabolic pathways used by these organisms. As we learned in module 1, sunlight plays an important, but difficult to predict, role in the community structure and function of heterotrophic bacteria, because other environmental factors such as nutrient availability and temperature affect the interaction between bacteria and sunlight. In this SLP assignment you will compare chemotrophic metabolic pathways to photosynthesis.

Write a 3- to 4-page paper that addresses each of the following topics. Use subtitles and headings to organize your paper. Research your answers to the questions below using scholarly sources, including national, university, and government websites, publications, and scientific journals. Cite your references throughout, and include a reference section at the end.

1. What role did photosynthesis (and therefore oxygen) play in the process of crude oil remediation?

2. Using full sentences in paragraph format define:

· The difference between an autotroph and a heterotroph

· The relationship between a photosynthetic autotroph and a chemotrophic autotroph.

3. How are these metabolic pathways similar to photosynthesis?

4. How did the availability of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and oxygen affect the microbes’ ability to degrade oil?

5. How does adding fertilizer (and therefore nitrogen) affect the metabolism of these organisms?

6. Which organisms showed sensitivity to oil toxicity?

Here is a diagram to help as you consider these metabolic pathways:


From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository

SLP Assignment Expectations

The Session Long Project consists of an integrative project emphasizing the personalized application of each module’s concepts. For Modules 1–4, students are required to engage in an original integrative project reflecting their comprehensive knowledge of and ability to apply the course materials. Each component of the SLP will be graded on a modular basis.

Your essay is considered a scholarly work. You will be provided with many scholarly references to begin each assignment. For any additional research you are required to do to complete your assignment, please use scholarly references such as a peer-reviewed journal article or a government-sponsored or university-sponsored website. As you read, take notes from your sources and then write your paper in your own words, describing what you have learned from your research. Direct quotes should be limited and must be designated by quotation marks. Paraphrased ideas must give credit to the original author, for example (Murray, 2014). Direct copying from “homework help” websites will not receive credit.

When you write your essay, please organize your paper to include an introduction (overview of the assignment), body with subtitles (reflecting the requirements of the assignment), and a summary (develop connections between the required topics).


How chemical reactions are catalyzed by enzymes:

Farabee, MJ (2010) Reaction and Enzymes. Accessed February 12, 2012, at: http://www2.estrellamountain.edu/faculty/farabee/BIOBK/biobookenzym.html

Photosynthesis and the structure of chloroplasts:

Farabee, MJ (2010) Photosynthesis. Accessed February 12, 2012: http://www2.estrellamountain.edu/faculty/farabee/BIOBK/BioBookPS.html


Photosynthesis (building sugars from the environment – plants/photosynthetic organisms/producers) http://www.phschool.com/science/biology_place/biocoach/photosynth/intro.html

Cellular respiration and the structure of mitochondria:

Kimball, John. (2011) Cellular Respiration. Accessed February 12, 2012. http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/C/CellularRespiration.html

Videos cellular respiration:

Glycolysis http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTv9y5dol-A

The Krebs Cycle http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncEHa-ZwX3M

Electron Transport Chain (Phosphorylation) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqF5JOXi_K8


Cellular Respiration (utilizing sugars – most living organisms/aerobic organisms/consumers) http://www.phschool.com/science/biology_place/biocoach/cellresp/intro.html

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