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Investigation of the microbiota and microbial processes involved in the anaerobic degradation of oil in Brazilian reservoirs

Grant number: 11/14501-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2012
Effective date (End): July 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Molecular Genetics and Genetics of Microorganisms
Principal Investigator:Valeria Maia Merzel
Grantee:Isabel Natalia Sierra García
Host Institution: Centro Pluridisciplinar de Pesquisas Químicas, Biológicas e Agrícolas (CPQBA). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Paulínia , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):13/20436-8 - Investigation of crude oil anaerobic biodegradation in microcosms by microbiota from Brazilian oil reservoir samples, BE.EP.DR


Microbial biodegradation of oil in reservoirs has attracted the attention of researchers worldwide due to the alterations caused in oil properties with economic losses in the subsequent petroleum extraction and refining steps. The occurrence of biodegradation in oil reservoirs was mainly attributed to aerobic bacterial degradation of hydrocarbons. However, more recent hypotheses suggest that anaerobic degradation processes dominate these environments, despite the low reaction kinetics and the uncertainty about the prevalent degradation process in oil reservoirs. Current knowledge about the microbial diversity and metabolic processes involved in biodegradation in reservoirs is still limited, mainly due to the difficulty in recovering the complex microbial community present in such extreme environments. This project aims to assess the composition of the microbiota by a comparative analysis of biodegraded and non-biodegraded oil reservoirs using 16S rRNA gene libraries, and the mechanisms driving the petroleum degradation process through anaerobic microcosm assays. The microcosms will allow to monitor the microbial diversity, gene expression and the ability to remove hydrocarbons under different physicochemical conditions. These results will confirm if the methanogenic degradation of oil is actually prevalent or if it is dependent on the geographic location, geological history or physical-chemical conditions of the reservoir. The data obtained will certainly help to elucidate the most likely mechanisms of hydrocarbons degradation in Brazilian reservoirs.

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Scientific publications (4)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
BORREL, GUILLAUME; ADAM, PANAGIOTIS S.; MCKAY, LUKE J.; CHEN, LIN-XING; SIERRA-GARCIA, ISABEL NATALIA; SIEBER, CHRISTIAN M. K.; LETOURNEUR, QUENTIN; GHOZLANE, AMINE; ANDERSEN, GARY L.; LI, WEN-JUN; et al. Wide diversity of methane and short-chain alkane metabolisms in uncultured archaea. NATURE MICROBIOLOGY, v. 4, n. 4, p. 603-613, . (13/20436-8, 11/14501-6)
SIERRA-GARCIA, ISABEL NATALIA; DELLAGNEZZE, BRUNA M.; SANTOS, VIVIANE P.; CHAVES B, MICHEL R.; CAPILLA, RAMSES; SANTOS NETO, EUGENIO V.; GRAY, NEIL; OLIVEIRA, VALERIA M.. Microbial diversity in degraded and non-degraded petroleum samples and comparison across oil reservoirs at local and global scales. EXTREMOPHILES, v. 21, n. 1, p. 211-229, . (11/14501-6)
HIDALGO, KELLY J.; SIERRA-GARCIA, ISABEL N.; DELLAGNEZZE, BRUNA M.; DE OLIVEIRA, VALERIA MAIA. Metagenomic Insights Into the Mechanisms for Biodegradation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in the Oil Supply Chain. FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY, v. 11, p. 20-pg., . (17/16611-0, 11/14501-6)
SIERRA-GARCIA, ISABEL NATALIA; BELGINI, DAIANE R. B.; TORRES-BALLESTEROS, ADRIANA; PAEZ-ESPINO, DAVID; CAPILLA, RAMSES; SANTOS NETO, V, EUGENIO; GRAY, NEIL; DE OLIVEIRA, VALERIA MAIA. In depth metagenomic analysis in contrasting oil wells reveals syntrophic bacterial and archaeal associations for oil biodegradation in petroleum reservoirs. Science of The Total Environment, v. 715, . (11/14501-6, 13/08293-7)
Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
GARCÍA, Isabel Natalia Sierra. Investigação da microbiota e dos processos envolvidos na degradação de óleo em reservatórios de petróleo. 2016. 186 f. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Instituto de Biologia.

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