African Journal of
Microbiology Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Microbiol. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0808
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJMR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 5211

Full Length Research Paper

Thermoanaerobacter spp. recovered from hot produced water from the Thar Jath oil-field in South Sudan

Anders Schouw1, Faisal Abdalla Sinada2 and Nils-Kåre Birkeland1*
1Department of Biology, University of Bergen, P.O. Box 7803, 5020 Bergen, Norway. 2Department of Botany, University of Khartoum, Khartoum 11111, Sudan.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 08 October 2013
  •  Published: 21 November 2013


Two bacterial isolates, designated S1.1 and S3.1, were recovered from oil-well produced water extracted from a deep and hot oil-well in the Thar Jath oil-field in South Sudan, and characterized. Based on their 16S rRNA gene sequences and phenotypic properties, the isolates were identified as members of the genus Thermoanaerobacter, possibly representing novel species. Both strains are strict anaerobes, grow optimally at 65 – 70°C at neutral pH and with ~0.3% NaCl, and can use various carbohydrates, proteinaceous compounds and organic acids as growth substrates. Strain S1.1 differs from strain S3.1 in its ability to grow on xylan and D-ribose, and S3.1 from S1.1 in its capacity to grow on acetate, arabinose, cellulose and lactate. Both produced acetate, ethanol, carbon dioxide and hydrogen as fermentation by-products from glucose, and growth was stimulated by thiosulphate. Strain S1.1 actively reduced Fe(III) as revealed by the formation of a dark paramagnetic  precipitate  and  increased  growth  in  cultures  supplemented  with  Fe2O3. Cultures of both strains survived autoclaving at 121°C for 40 min, suggesting the formation of extremely heat-resistant endospores.


Key words: Thermoanaerobacter, oil-well, produced water, deep biosphere, petroleum microbiology, thermophiles, Thar Jath.