Inhibition of biofouling by marine microorganisms and their metabolites

Sergey Dobretsov, Hans Uwe Dahms, Peri Yuan Qian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

323 Citations (Scopus)


Development of microbial biofilms and the recruitment of propagules on the surfaces of man-made structures in the marine environment cause serious problems for the navies and for marine industries around the world. Current antifouling technology is based on the application of toxic substances that can be harmful to the natural environment. For this reason and the global ban of tributyl tin (TBT), there is a need for the development of "environmentally- friendly" antifoulants. Marine microbes are promising potential sources of non-toxic or less-toxic antifouling compounds as they can produce substances that inhibit not only the attachment and/or growth of microorganisms but also the settlement of invertebrate larvae and macroalgal spores. However, so far only few antilarval settlement compounds have been isolated and identified from bacteria. In this review knowledge about antifouling compounds produced by marine bacteria and diatoms are summarised and evaluated and future research directions are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-54
Number of pages12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Antifouling
  • Bacteria
  • Defence
  • Diatoms
  • Fouling
  • Invertebrate larvae
  • Marine microbes
  • Settlement inhibition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Water Science and Technology


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