Extracellular Metabolites of Hydrocarbon-Oxidizing Bacteria as Substrates for Sulfate Reduction

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The relationship between bacterial oxidation of hydrocarbons and sulfate reduction was studied in an experimental system with liquid paraffin used as a source of organic compounds inoculated with silt taken from a reservoir. Pseudomonads dominated in the hydrocarbon-oxidizing silt bacteriocenosis. However, Rodococcus and Arthrobacteria amounted to no more than 3%. Arthrobacteria dominated the microbial association formed in the paraffin film of the model system. Sulfate-reducing bacteria were represented by genera Desulfomonas, Desulfotomaculum, and Desulfovibrio. The growth of sulfate-reducing bacteria in media containing paraffin, successive products of its oxidation (cetyl alcohol, stearate, and acetate), and extracellular metabolites of hydrocarbon-reducing bacteria was studied. The data showed that sulfate-reducing bacteria did not use paraffin or cetyl alcohol as growth substrates. However, active growth of sulfate-reducing bacteria was observed in the presence of stearate and extracellular water-soluble or lipid metabolites of Arthrobacteria.

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