Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 194, Issue 6, pp 513–523 | Cite as

Microbial biodiversity in a Malaysian oil field and a systematic comparison with oil reservoirs worldwide

  • Dongmei LiEmail author
  • David J. Midgley
  • Jason P. Ross
  • Yalchin Oytam
  • Guy C. J. Abell
  • Herbert Volk
  • Wan Ata Wan Daud
  • Philip Hendry
Original Paper


Microbial diversity within formation water and oil from two compartments in Bokor oil reservoir from a Malaysian petroleum oil field was examined. A total of 1,056 16S rRNA gene clones were screened from each location by amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis. All samples were dominated by clones affiliated with Marinobacter, some novel Deferribacteraceae genera and various clones allied to the Methanococci. In addition, either Marinobacterium- or Pseudomonas-like operational taxonomic units were detected from either compartment. A systematic comparison with the existing pertinent studies was undertaken by analysing the microbial amplicons detected and the PCR primers used. The analyses demonstrated that bacterial communities were site specific, while Archaea co-occurred more frequently. Amplicons related to Marinobacter, Marinobacterium and Pseudomonas were detected in a number of the studies examined, suggesting they may be ubiquitous members in oil reservoirs. Further analysis of primers used in those studies suggested that most primer pairs had fairly broad but low matches across the bacterial and archaeal domains, while a minority had selective matches to certain taxa or low matches to all the microbial taxa tested. Thus, it indicated that primers may play an important role in determining which taxa would be detected.


Petroleum Formation water Oil Biodiversity Primer 



We would like to thank CSIRO MEOR team for their helpful discussion, Dr. Keyu Liu for information on the chemical composition of the formation waters and Dr Nai Tran-Dinh for internal review of the manuscript. Our special thanks also go to the two anonymous reviewers, editor, Jörg Overmann, and the chief editor, Erko Stackebrandt, for their comments and suggestions.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (PDF 1089 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (PDF 10 kb)
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Supplementary material 3 (PDF 1227 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dongmei Li
    • 1
    Email author
  • David J. Midgley
    • 1
  • Jason P. Ross
    • 1
  • Yalchin Oytam
    • 1
  • Guy C. J. Abell
    • 2
  • Herbert Volk
    • 3
  • Wan Ata Wan Daud
    • 4
  • Philip Hendry
    • 1
  1. 1.CSIRO Food and Nutritional SciencesNorth RydeAustralia
  2. 2.CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric ResearchHobartAustralia
  3. 3.CSIRO Earth Science and Resource EngineeringNorth RydeAustralia
  4. 4.PETRONAS Research Sdn BhdKuala LumpurMalaysia

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