Inhibiting mild steel corrosion from sulfate-reducing and iron-oxidizing bacteria using gramicidin-S-producing biofilms

Rongjun Zuo, Thomas K. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (SciVal)


A gramicidin-S-producing Bacillus brevis 18-3 biofilm was shown to reduce corrosion rates of mild steel by inhibiting both the sulfate-reducing bacterium Desulfosporosinus orientis and the iron-oxidizing bacterium Leptothrix discophora SP-6. When L. discophora SP-6 was introduced along with D. orientis to a non-antimicrobial-producing biofilm control, Paenibacillus polymyxa ATCC 10401, a corrosive synergy was created and mild steel coupons underwent more severe corrosion than when only D. orientis was present, showing a 2.3-fold increase via electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and a 1.8-fold difference via mass-loss measurements. However, when a gramicidin-S-producing, protective B. brevis 18-3 biofilm was established on mild steel, the metal coupons were protected against the simultaneous attack of D. orientis and L. discophora SP-6. EIS data showed that the protective B. brevis 18-3 biofilm decreased the corrosion rate about 20-fold compared with the non-gramicidin-producing P. polymyxa ATCC 10401 biofilm control. The mass loss for the protected mild steel coupons was also significantly lower than that for the unprotected ones (4-fold decrease). Scanning electron microscope images corroborated the corrosion inhibition by the gramicidin-S-producing B. brevis biofilm on mild steel by showing that the metal surface remained untarnished, i.e., the polishing grooves were still visible after exposure to the simultaneous attack of the sulfate-reducing bacterium and the iron-oxidizing bacterium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)747-753
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


Dive into the research topics of 'Inhibiting mild steel corrosion from sulfate-reducing and iron-oxidizing bacteria using gramicidin-S-producing biofilms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this