Living on the edge: Biofilms developing in oscillating environmental conditions

Sergey Dobretsov, Raeid M. M. Abed, Thirumahal Muthukrishnan, Priyanka Sathe, Laila Al-Naamani, Bastien Y. Queste, Sergey Piontkovski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
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For the first time, the densities and diversity of microorganisms developed on ocean gliders were investigated using flow cytometry and Illumina MiSeq sequencing of 16S and 18S rRNA genes. Ocean gliders are autonomous buoyancy-driven underwater vehicles, equipped with sensors continuously recording physical, chemical, and biological parameters. Microbial biofilms were investigated on unprotected parts of the glider and surfaces coated with base, biocidal and chitosan paints. Biofilms on the glider were exposed to periodical oscillations of salinity, oxygen, temperature, pressure, depth and light, due to periodic ascending and descending of the vehicle. Among the unprotected surfaces, the highest microbial abundance was observed on the bottom of the glider’s body, while the lowest density was recorded on the glider’s nose. Antifouling paints had the lowest densities of microorganisms. Multidimensional analysis showed that the microbial communities formed on unprotected parts of the glider were significantly different from those on biocidal paint and in seawater.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1064-1077
Number of pages14
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2018


  • antifouling
  • Biofilm
  • chitosan
  • Indian Ocean
  • next generation sequencing
  • ocean glider

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