The diversity of microbial communities associated with non-water-flooded high-temperature reservoir of the Niibori oilfield was characterized. Analysis of saturated hydrocarbons revealed that n-alkanes in crude oil from the reservoir were selectively depleted, suggesting that crude oil might be mildly biodegraded in the reservoir. To examine if any specific microorganism(s) preferentially attached to the crude oil or the other components (large insoluble particles and formation water) of the reservoir fluid, 16S rRNA gene clone libraries were constructed from each component of the reservoir fluid. The clones in the archaeal libraries (414 clones in total) represented 16 phylotypes, many of which were closely related to methanogens. The bacterial libraries (700 clones in total) were composed of 49 phylotypes belonging to one of 16 phylum-level groupings, with Firmicutes containing the greatest diversity of the phylotypes. In the crude-oil- and large-insoluble-particle-associated communities, a Methanosaeta-related phylotype dominated the archaeal sequences, whereas hydrogenotrophic methanogens occupied a major portion of sequences in the library of the formation-water-associated community. The crude-oil associated bacterial community showed the largest diversity, containing 35 phylotypes, 16 of which were not detected in the other bacterial communities. Thus, although the populations associated with the reservoir-fluid components largely shared common phylogenetic context, a specific fraction of microbial species preferentially attached to the crude oil and insoluble particles.
Copyright Â© 2011 The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.