The same species of sulphate-reducing Desulfomicrobium occur in different oil field environments in the North Sea

J Y Leu, C P McGovern-Traa, A J R Porter, W A Hamilton

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Several metabolic types of sulphate-reducing bacteria, including mesophiles and thermophiles, were successfully obtained from four samples from two different North Sea oil fields. The Gram-negative, rod-shaped, sulphate-reducing strains MM6, EF2, FM2, and GF2 were isolated from drain water, and from drilling muds E, F, and G, respectively. All four isolates grew on lactate, pyruvate, glycerol, and ethanol, with optimal growth temperatures between 25 degrees C and 35 degrees C and at salinities between 0 and 5% NaCl. They were capable of using sulphate, thiosulphate or sulphite, but not nitrate, as electron acceptors. These isolates were tentatively identified to be the same species of Desulfomicrobium based on physiological and biochemical characterization, and 16S rRNA gene analysis. Therefore, the same Desulfomicrobium species was present in different samples from distant oil fields. This result suggests that these microorganisms are likely to be widespread throughout oil field systems, and possibly play an important role in the generation of sulphide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-252
Number of pages7
JournalLetters in Applied Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 1999


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