, Volume 60, Issue 4, pp 771-783,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 26 Aug 2010

Molecular Detection of Anaerobic Ammonium-Oxidizing (Anammox) Bacteria in High-Temperature Petroleum Reservoirs

Abstract

Anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing (anammox) process plays an important role in the nitrogen cycle of the worldwide anoxic and mesophilic habitats. Recently, the existence and activity of anammox bacteria have been detected in some thermophilic environments, but their existence in the geothermal subterranean oil reservoirs is still not reported. This study investigated the abundance, distribution and functional diversity of anammox bacteria in nine out of 17 high-temperature oil reservoirs by molecular ecology analysis. High concentration (5.31–39.2 mg l−1) of ammonium was detected in the production water from these oilfields with temperatures between 55°C and 75°C. Both 16S rRNA and hzo molecular biomarkers indicated the occurrence of anammox bacteria in nine out of 17 samples. Most of 16S rRNA gene phylotypes are closely related to the known anammox bacterial genera Candidatus Brocadia, Candidatus Kuenenia, Candidatus Scalindua, and Candidatus Jettenia, while hzo gene phylotypes are closely related to the genera Candidatus Anammoxoglobus, Candidatus Kuenenia, Candidatus Scalindua, and Candidatus Jettenia. The total bacterial and anammox bacterial densities were 6.4 ± 0.5 × 103 to 2.0 ± 0.18 × 106 cells ml−1 and 6.6 ± 0.51 × 102 to 4.9 ± 0.36 × 104 cell ml−1, respectively. The cluster I of 16S rRNA gene sequences showed distant identity (<92%) to the known Candidatus Scalindua species, inferring this cluster of anammox bacteria to be a new species, and a tentative name Candidatus “Scalindua sinooilfield” was proposed. The results extended the existence of anammox bacteria to the high-temperature oil reservoirs.