Metabolic profiling of biofilm bacteria known to cause microbial influenced corrosion
This study builds upon previous research that demonstrated the simplicity of obtaining metabolite profiles of bacteria in urban water networks, by using the metabolic profile of bacteria extracted from a reticulation pipe biofilm, which is known to cause microbial influenced corrosion (MIC). The extracellular metabolites of the isolated bacteria, and those bacteria in consortium, were analysed in isolation, and after exposure to low levels of copper. Applying chemometric analytical methodologies to the metabolomic data, we were able to better understand the profile of the isolated biofilm bacteria, which were differentiated according to their activity and copper exposure. It was found that the metabolic activity of the isolated bacteria and the bacteria in consortium varied according to the bacterium's ability to metabolise copper. This demonstrates the power of metabolomic techniques for the discrimination of water reticulation biofilms comprising similar bacteria in consortium, but undergoing different physico-chemical activities, such as corrosion and corrosion inhibition.