Targeted genetic diagnosis of microbiologically influenced corrosion

Infrastructure corrosion results in considerable annual loss to the oil and gas industry. Corrosion can occur by numerous means; a lesser-well understood cause is due to microbes living and thriving within these systems. This phenomenon is referred to as microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC). In recent years, it's been subject to an increasing amount of study with the goal of developing mitigation strategies. A major knowledge gap that still thwarts effective mitigation is the specifics of the biological mechanisms that microbes employ to corrode infrastructure. One such aggressive mechanism is the direct removal of electrons from the metal surface, a phenomenon known as EMIC. Successful mitigation begins with effective diagnosis of EMIC, for which a reliable, precise diagnostic tool does not currently exist. In light of this need, we propose the development of a genetic assay to specifically target and identify EMIC corrosive microbes within environmental field samples. Preliminary research conducted by our group and work that has been reported in recent literature has provided promising leads, in the form of EMIC genetic targets, which we seek to continue to pursue and develop. Being of high interest, this would provide a valuable contribution to Canadian research and business within the industry.

Natalie Maria Rachel
Faculty Supervisor: 
Lisa Gieg
Partner University: