ISSN 10630740, Russian Journal of Marine Biology, 2010, Vol. 36, No. 2, pp. 147–153. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2010.
Original Russian Text © I.A. Beleneva, U.V. Kharchenko, Yu.L. Kovalchukc, 2010, published in Biologiya Morya.
Formation of microbial biofilm (micro fouling) on
any metal surfaces submerged in seawater is the first
stage of colonization. The film is built of either func
tionally independent or interdependent micro organ
isms producing various polymers. Traditionally, the
number and the taxonomic composition of the
involved microorganisms were used as the main func
tional criteria of the state of microbial cenoses [9–11].
However, application of these characteristics of the
micro fouling communities for description of biocor
rosion processes did not prove to be useful, because
there is no relationship between these parameters [7,
9, 12]. The corrosion situation on a metal surface is
determined by the functional state of the primary bac
terial community . An analysis of literature data has
shown that the best criteria for classification and char
acterization of aquatic and soil microbial communi
ties are quantitative indices of enzymatic activity of
microorganisms [1, 4, 6]. In this connection, new
express methods are needed for characterization of
microbial communities by physiological indicators
reflecting processes in natural ecotopes subject to var
ious anthropogenic impacts.
The multisubstrate testing (MST) seems to be a
promising method of solving this task; this method is
based on determination of the intensity of consump
tion of various carbon sources by microorganisms .
The widespread use of MST in the soil microbiology
The article was translated by the authors.
has shown the good prospects of the method to address
a number of theoretical and applied tasks in the field of
ecology and environmental protection. We failed to
find any reports on the application of the MST method
for qualitative estimation and differentiation of marine
microbial communities in the available literature.
The goal of this work was to study the possibility of
application of the modified method of multisubstrate
testing for characterization of fouling micro flora on
metal plates to be tested for resistance to corrosion.
MATHERIAL AND METHODS
The study was conducted at the headquarters of the
Primorye Division of the RussianVietnamese Scien
tific and Research Technology Tropical Centre (Nha
Trang, Vietnam). The field installations for studying
the corrosive deterioration of metals in sea water were
exposed at two sites differing in their degree of anthro
pogenic impact: one in Nha Trang Bay under the pier
of the Naval Academy (NA) in the port water area and
the other in Dam Bai Bay on the Khong Che Island
remote from the big city of Nha Trang.
Samples of highalloy steel (brand 12Kh18N10T),
lowcarbon steel St3, steel 08kp, bronze BrKMts31,
copper M3, brass L63, zinc, aluminium, and alumin
ium alloy AMg3 were used as study objects. Unfortu
nately, several of these samples were lost in the storm
season. The samples were exposed during 4.5 to
7 months. During the experiment, the samples were
Application of the Multisubstrate Testing Method
to the Characterization of Marine Microbial Fouling Communities
on Metals and Alloys
I. A. Beleneva
, U. V. Kharchenko
, and Yu. L. Kovalchuk
Zhirmunskii Institute of Marine Biology, Far East Division, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok, 690041 Russia
Institute of Chemistry, Far East Division, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok, 690022 Russia
Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Moscow, 119071 Russia
Received September 15, 2009
—The functional state of marine micro fouling communities of corroding metal plates was analyzed
using a modified method of multisubstrate testing. Qualitative and quantitative differences were found in the
substrate utilization spectra of the fouling micro flora that were dependent on the type of metal surface and
the place of sample exposure. The activity of substrate consumption by fouling micro flora can be used as a
criterion for estimating the intensity of corrosion processes on metal surfaces and as a clustering and classifi
microbial communities, metals and alloys, biochemical activity.