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Biofouling. 2011 Oct;27(9):993-1001. doi: 10.1080/08927014.2011.618637.

Molecular survey of concrete sewer biofilm microbial communities.

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Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, OH, USA.


The microbial composition of concrete biofilms within wastewater collection systems was studied using molecular assays. SSU rDNA clone libraries were generated from 16 concrete surfaces of manholes, a combined sewer overflow, and sections of a corroded sewer pipe. Of the 2457 sequences analyzed, α-, β-, γ-, and δ-Proteobacteria represented 15%, 22%, 11%, and 4% of the clones, respectively. β-Proteobacteria (47%) sequences were more abundant in the pipe crown than any of the other concrete surfaces. While 178 to 493 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) were associated with the different concrete samples, only four sequences were shared among the different clone libraries. Bacteria implicated in concrete corrosion were found in the clone libraries while archaea, fungi, and several bacterial groups were also detected using group-specific assays. The results showed that concrete sewer biofilms are more diverse than previously reported. A more comprehensive molecular database will be needed to better study the dynamics of concrete biofilms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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