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Anaerobe. 2006 Jun;12(3):122-33. Epub 2006 May 2.

Characterization of bacterial community associated to biofilms of corroded oil pipelines from the southeast of Mexico.

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Departamento de Microbiología, Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biológicas-IPN, Mexico DF 11340, Mexico.


Microbial communities associated to biofilms promote corrosion of oil pipelines. The community structure of bacteria in the biofilm formed in oil pipelines is the basic knowledge to understand the complexity and mechanisms of metal corrosion. To assess bacterial diversity, biofilm samples were obtained from X52 steel coupons corroded after 40 days of exposure to normal operation and flow conditions. The biofilm samples were directly used to extract metagenomic DNA, which was used as template to amplify 16S ribosomal gene by PCR. The PCR products of 16S ribosomal gene were also employed as template for sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) specific nested-PCR and both PCR products were utilized for the construction of gene libraries. The V3 region of the 16S rRNA gene was also amplified to analyse the bacterial diversity by analysis of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Ribosomal library and DGGE profiles exhibited limited bacterial diversity, basically including Citrobacter spp., Enterobacter spp. and Halanaerobium spp. while Desulfovibrio alaskensis and a novel clade within the genus Desulfonatronovibrio were detected from the nested PCR library. The biofilm samples were also taken for the isolation of SRB. Desulfovibrio alaskensis and Desulfovibrio capillatus, as well as some strains related to Citrobacter were isolated. SRB consists in a very small proportion of the community and Desulfovibrio spp. were the relatively abundant groups among the SRB. This is the first study directly exploring bacterial diversity in corrosive biofilms associated to steel pipelines subjected to normal operation conditions.

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