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NSF awards 'Life in Transition' grants to University of Oklahoma professors
Date:10/22/2009

an important role in the environmental life cycle of these compounds, especially, in the context of the ecological impact of oil spills.

From an industrial standpoint, oil companies desire to learn more about alkane degrading bacteria and how to monitor microbial communities because of their involvement in the biocorrosion of pipelines and reservoir souring. Furthermore, there is significant interest in the treatmentof detrimental paraffin deposition (long-chain alkanes) in pipelines and on hydrocarbon extraction equipment. Callaghan hypothesizes that anaerobic microorganisms might be able to degrade paraffins via mechanisms similar to those observed for shorter alkanes.

This research looks at the biochemistry and genetics of the sulfate-reducing bacteria involved in anaerobic alkane degradation via a combination of metagenomics, transcriptomics and metabolite profiling. Callaghan received $725,000 for the three-year project and will collaborate with Boris Wawrik and Joseph Suflita, professors in the OU botany and microbiology department.

The NSF biological sciences directorate awarded 61 grants totaling $26 million to university researchers in the United States to foster transformative advances across diverse fields.


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Contact: Jana Smith
jana.smith@ou.edu
405-325-1322
University of Oklahoma
Source:Eurekalert

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