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We present an algorithm, PyroNoise, that clusters the flowgrams of 454 pyrosequencing reads using a distance measure that models sequencing noise. This infers the true sequences in a collection of amplicons. We pyrosequenced a known mixture of microbial 16S rDNA sequences extracted from a lake and found that without noise reduction the number of operational(More)
At temperatures up to about 80 degrees C, petroleum in subsurface reservoirs is often biologically degraded, over geological timescales, by microorganisms that destroy hydrocarbons and other components to produce altered, denser 'heavy oils'. This temperature threshold for hydrocarbon biodegradation might represent the maximum temperature boundary for life(More)
Biodegradation of crude oil in subsurface petroleum reservoirs has adversely affected the majority of the world's oil, making recovery and refining of that oil more costly. The prevalent occurrence of biodegradation in shallow subsurface petroleum reservoirs has been attributed to aerobic bacterial hydrocarbon degradation stimulated by surface recharge of(More)
Libraries of 16S rRNA genes cloned from methanogenic oil degrading microcosms amended with North Sea crude oil and inoculated with estuarine sediment indicated that bacteria from the genera Smithella (Deltaproteobacteria, Syntrophaceace) and Marinobacter sp. (Gammaproteobacteria) were enriched during degradation. Growth yields and doubling times (36 days(More)
A field-scale experiment with a complete randomized block design was performed to study the degradation of buried oil on a shoreline over a period of almost 1 year. The following four treatments were examined in three replicate blocks: two levels of fertilizer treatment of oil-treated plots, one receiving a weekly application of liquid fertilizer and the(More)
Methanogenic degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) has long been considered impossible, but evidence in contaminated near surface environments and biodegrading petroleum reservoirs suggests that this is not necessarily the case. To evaluate the thermodynamic constraints on methanogenic PAH degradation we have estimated the Gibbs free energy(More)
Degradation of oil on beaches is, in general, limited by the supply of inorganic nutrients. In order to obtain a more systematic understanding of the effects of nutrient addition on oil spill bioremediation, beach sediment microcosms contaminated with oil were treated with different levels of inorganic nutrients. Oil biodegradation was assessed(More)
Biodegradation of crude oil by bacterial activity--which has occurred in the majority of the Earth's oil reserves--is known to reduce greatly the quality of petroleum in reservoirs. For economically successful prospecting for oil, it is therefore important to understand the processes and conditions in geological formations that lead to oil biodegradation.(More)
Our understanding of the processes underlying the formation of heavy oil has been transformed in the last decade. The process was once thought to be driven by oxygen delivered to deep petroleum reservoirs by meteoric water. This paradigm has been replaced by a view that the process is anaerobic and frequently associated with methanogenic hydrocarbon(More)
The subsurface microbiology of an Athabasca oil sands reservoir in western Canada containing severely biodegraded oil was investigated by combining 16S rRNA gene- and polar lipid-based analyses of reservoir formation water with geochemical analyses of the crude oil and formation water. Biomass was filtered from formation water, DNA was extracted using two(More)