Living on the edge: biofilms developing in oscillating environmental conditions

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


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
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Living on the edge: biofilms developing in oscillating environmental conditions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this