Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, 230:38 | Cite as

Isolation of Bacterial Consortia that Induced Corrosion of Zirconium Alloys

  • Mihaela Marilena StancuEmail author


The aim of the present study was to isolate several bacterial consortia from a soil sample and to establish if they could colonize zirconium-tin alloy, such as Zircaloy-4. Two bacterial consortia containing aerobic heterotrophic bacteria and anaerobic sulfate-reducing bacteria were isolated from a soil sample. The aerobic heterotrophic bacteria exhibited a higher capability to utilize different sole carbon sources, as compared with anaerobic sulfate-reducing bacteria. Based on a morphological, biochemical, and molecular analysis, bacterial isolates were identified as Pseudomonas putida IBBHA1, Pseudomonas aeruginosa IBBHA2, Achromobacter spanius IBBHA3, Citrobacter freundii IBBSR1, Citrobacter youngae IBBSR2, and Citrobacter braakii IBBSR3. Isolated bacterial consortia which possess distinct DNA fingerprints were able to form biofilms and colonize the surface of zirconium-tin alloy coupons, although the colonization of coupons by the aerobic heterotrophic bacteria or anaerobic sulfate-reducing bacteria alone was lower compared with that observed when the coupon was immersed in a mixture of both bacterial consortia. Coupons immersed in these bacterial consortia revealed changes in the surface characteristics, which can facilitate or accelerate zirconium-tin alloy corrosion. The accumulation of corrosion products on coupons surface was less significant when the coupons were immersed solely in aerobic heterotrophic bacteria or anaerobic sulfate-reducing bacteria, compared with that observed when the coupon was immersed in a mixture of both bacterial consortia.


Isolation Bacterial consortia Zirconium-tin alloy Colonization 



The author thanks Ing. Mariana Tunaru from the RATEN-Institute for Nuclear Research Pitesti for proving the Zircaloy-4 coupons. The author is grateful to Ana Dinu and Alexandru Brînzan for technical support.

The study was funded by projects no. 5736/2012 from the RATEN-Institute for Nuclear Research Pitesti and no. RO1567-IBB05/2018 from the Institute of Biology Bucharest of Romanian Academy.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Biology Bucharest of Romanian AcademyBucharestRomania

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