Coexistence of sulfate reducers with the other oil bacterial groups in Diyarbakır oil fields

Tuğçe Tüccar*, Esra Ilhan-Sungur, Ben Abbas, Gerard Muyzer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The existence of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) is a major concern in oil industry due to the detrimental effects of SRB in oil technology. SRB are co-habited with diverse microbial populations in oil fields. The presence of other bacterial groups in oil fields may alter SRB activity in different ways. Therefore, understanding this coexistence may provide insights into problems induced by SRB activity and possible solutions to these problems. To investigate this aspect, not only the presence and abundance of SRB but also bacterial population that coexists with SRB in sulfate-reducing enrichment cultures obtained from the Diyarbakır oil fields in southeast of Turkey was determined by using cultivation- and molecular-based approaches. The most probable number technique (MPN) was used to determine the number of sulfidogenic bacteria in the enrichments. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of polymerase chain reaction-amplified 16S rRNA gene fragments was performed to examine the bacterial diversity of the enrichments. The results demonstrated that the number of sulfidogenic bacteria in the enrichments was low (<103 cells/mL). The DGGE analysis indicated that community members belonging to the Firmicutes were more abundant than those of other phyla. Members belonging to SRB mainly consisted of the genera Desulfosporosinus, Desulfovibrio, Thermodesulfovibrio, and Desulfotomaculum. Fermentative bacteria, acetogens, nitrate reducers, and sulfur reducers were also detected in the enrichments. The results of this study not only provide information regarding the diversity of the cultivable portion of the bacterial community that coexists with cultivable SRB, but they also offer insights into the interactions of bacteria in complex microbial communities that inhabit natural environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-31
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Bacterial community
  • Enrichment culture
  • Petroleum microbiology
  • Sulfate reducing bacteria


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