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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2013 Aug;97(16):7493-504. doi: 10.1007/s00253-012-4464-7. Epub 2012 Oct 20.

Sulfate-reducing bacteria inhabiting natural corrosion deposits from marine steel structures.

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LU Microbiologie Environnementale et Biologie Evolutive-MEBE, Université de Rouen, UFR des Sciences, IRESE B, Place Emile Blondel, Mont-Saint-Aignan 76821, France.


In the present study, investigations were conducted on natural corrosion deposits to better understand the role of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) in the accelerated corrosion process of carbon steel sheet piles in port environments. We describe the abundance and diversity of total and metabolically active SRB within five natural corrosion deposits located within tidal or low water zone and showing either normal or accelerated corrosion. By using molecular techniques, such as quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, denaturing gel gradient electrophoresis, and sequence cloning based on 16S rRNA, dsrB genes, and their transcripts, we demonstrated a clear distinction between SRB population structure inhabiting normal or accelerated low-water corrosion deposits. Although SRB were present in both normal and accelerated low-water corrosion deposits, they dominated and were exclusively active in the inner and intermediate layers of accelerated corrosion deposits. We also highlighted that some of these SRB populations are specific to the accelerated low-water corrosion deposit environment in which they probably play a dominant role in the sulfured corrosion product enrichment.

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