Inhibition of bacterial fouling by soft coral natural products

Sergey Dobretsov*, Aisha S.M. Al-Wahaibi, Daowan Lai, Jamal Al-Sabahi, Michel Claereboudt, Peter Proksch, Bassam Soussi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Six common soft coral species (Sarcophyton sp., Sinularia sp.1 and sp.2, Cladiella sp., Scleronephthya sp. and Dendronephthya sp.) from Bandar Al-Khayran (Sultanate of Oman) had significantly lower bacterial density in comparison with surfaces of empty shells. Methanol: chloroform (1:1) extracts of these species were tested against Gram positive (Micrococcus luteus, Staphlococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus sp.) and Gram negative (Salmonella enterica, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Cytophaga sp., Pseudomonas sp., Shewanella sp.) marine biofouling and pathogenic bacterial strains. All tested extracts had some activity against human pathogens and the highest antimicrobial activity was observed for extracts of Sinularia sp.1 and Cladiella sp. (inhibited 50% and 60% of the strains, respectively). Only ethyl acetate extracts of Cladiella sp. inhibited growth of biofouling bacteria. The active fraction was purified and identified as a mixture of hexadecyl palmitate and hexadecyl stearate. Pure hexadecyl palmitate inhibited growth (Bacillus sp. and Psychrobacter sp.) and attachment (Bacillus sp., Cytophaga sp., Pseudomonas sp., Psychrobacter sp., Shewanella sp.) of the marine biofouling bacteria. The results of this study suggest that soft corals have developed mechanisms to combat microbial infections and inhibit bacterial fouling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-58
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Biodeterioration and Biodegradation
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2015


  • Antimicrobial activity
  • Biofouling
  • Cladiella
  • Cnidarian secondary metabolites
  • Fatty acid ester
  • Marine bacteria
  • Oman Sea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Biomaterials
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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