Identify and quantify threatening microbes

LifeCheck DNA qPCR is innovative genetic testing for rapidly determining problematic microbial populations. It enables the detection and accurate quantification of specific microbes without the need for growth media. Our qPCR technology can target specific microbial functional groups as well as individual species of interest. The reported results provide the total count of specific targeted microbes detected in the sample provided.

Sample Reported Results: Sour Producing Well

LifeCheck DNA qPCR Packages

Souring PackageMIC PackageSouring and MIC Package
Base: Total Microbes (Bacteria and Archaea)Base: Total Microbes (Bacteria and Archaea)Base: Total Microbes (Bacteria and Archaea)
Sulfur CyclingMethanogensMethanogens
HalanaerobiumIron Related BacteriaIron Related Bacteria
Sulfur Cycling
Enhanced packages include these additional targets
Enhanced Souring PackageEnhanced MIC PackageEnhanced Souring and MIC Package
Sulfur Oxidizing BacteriaSulfur Oxidizing BacteriaSulfur Oxidizing Bacteria
Sulfate Reducing Archaea (SRA)HalanaerobiumSulfate Reducing Archaea (SRA)
Sulfate Reducing Archaea (SRA)

Understanding your LifeCheck DNA qPCR Package

qPCR Primer SetDescription
Total BacteriaA summary count of all the bacteria in a sample.
Total archaeaA summary count of all the archaea in a sample.
Quality ControlsInternal DNA controls are used to ensure accurate and precise qPCR quantification.
Sulfate reducing bacteria
Sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) gain energy for growth by reducing sulfate (SO42-) to sulfide (H2S). Sulfide production can cause souring of a system.

SRB can also cause MIC by directly removing electrons from steel surfaces, and indirectly by producing corrosive by-products such as sulfide which react with iron to produce iron sulfide (FeS) deposits.
Sulfate reducing archaeaSulfate reducing archaea (SRA) gain energy for growth by reducing sulfate (SO42-) to sulfide (H2S). Sulfide production can cause souring of a system, and/or MIC.
MethanogensThese anaerobic Archaea produce methane during their metabolism.

Can lead to MIC by removing electrons directly from steel surfaces or indirectly through syntrophic interactions with other microbes.
Iron oxidizing bacteriaIron oxidizing bacteria (IOB) gain energy for growth by oxidizing ferrous iron (Fe2+) to ferric iron (Fe3+), resulting in the formation of ferric iron oxides on the steel surface.

These oxides can be a protective physical barrier preventing any further corrosion, however they also result in the formation of oxygen depleted zones leading to electrochemical alterations of the steel surface, and localized, pitting corrosion.
Iron reducing bacteriaIron reducing bacteria (IRB) gain energy for growth by reducing ferric iron (Fe3+) to ferrous iron (Fe2+).

Fe3+ reduction can remove protective oxide coatings, exposing the surface beneath to further corrosion.
Sulfur CyclingA broad spectrum qPCR target evaluating the genetic capacity for microbial conversion of sulfur related compounds.

Supplementary to the total SRB qPCR primer set, the presence of “sulfur cycling” genes indicates a potential for microbial souring and/or MIC.
Sulfur Oxidizing BacteriaA qPCR primer targeting the oxidation of sulfur-related compounds (sulfide, sulfur, thiosulfate) to sulfate.

Often considered a beneficial group of microbes as they function to remove sulfide (H2S) from a system, and are stimulated (used) in nitrate injection strategies for souring control. Recent research has indicated select SOB species can cause MIC by oxidizing sulfide to sulfuric acid (H2SO4).
Thiosulfate Reducing BacteriaA sulfide producing microbe, increasingly common to oil and gas reservoirs stimulated by hydraulic fracturing methods.

Sulfide production occurs via the use of thiosulfate and not sulfate, making this microbe a non-traditional SRB, undetectable by culture media bottle methods.

Sulfide production poses both a souring and corrosion-based risk.

Are you killing or growing bugs?

Implementing a robust microbial monitoring and testing program that starts with your source water and follows through all the way to production, will let you know. At the end of the day the name of the game is control keeping the microbial load low enough and the environment, or conditions for growth, inhospitable enough that microbial communities can’t get a foothold and create a long term problem. Using a combination of ATP Testing and next level DNA testing provides the data and baseline KPI’s to ensure your control program is killing, not growing bugs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between 16S Sequencing and qPCR?
  • LifeCheck DNA 16S Sequencing characterizes and provides insight into the entire microbial community present, and in what relative proportion. Once the microbial community makeup is determined, a trained microbiologist can determine the types of functions (harmful activities) the microbial community may be capable of.
  • LifeCheck DNA qPCR is innovative genetic testing that allows the user to target and accurately quantify specific subgroups or types of microbes without the need for growth media.
Is qPCR recognized by NACE?
qPCR is a method recognized in the NACE TM0212, TMO194 and other Standard Practices. OSP is an active collaborator in setting international standards for molecular microbiological methods.

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