, Volume 57, Issue 5-6, pp 776-785

Analysis of the microbial communities on corroded concrete sewer pipes – a case study

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Conventional as well as molecular techniques have been used to determine the microbial communities present on the concrete walls of sewer pipes. The genetic fingerprint of the microbiota on corroded concrete sewer pipes was obtained by means of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of 16S rRNA gene fragments. The DGGE profiles of the bacterial communities present on the concrete surface changed as observed by shifts occurring at the level of the dominance of bands from non-corroded places to the most severely corroded places. By means of statistical tools, it was possible to distinguish two different groups, corresponding to the microbial communities on corroded and non-corroded surfaces, respectively. Characterization of the microbial communities indicated that the sequences of typical bands showed the highest level of identity to sequences from the bacterial strains Thiobacillus thiooxidans, Acidithiobacillus sp., Mycobacterium sp. and different heterotrophs belonging to the α-, β- and γ-Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria and Actinobacteria. In addition, the presence of N-acyl-homoserine lactone signal molecules was shown by two bio-assays of the biofilm on the concrete under the water level and at the most severely corroded places on the concrete surface of the sewer pipe.

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