Compositional similarities and differences between transparent exopolymer particles (TEPs) from two marine bacteria and two marine algae: Significance to surface biofouling

S. Li, H. Winters, L.O. Villacorte, Y. Ekowati, A.-H. Emwas, M.D. Kennedy, G.L. Amy
Marine Chemistry, volume 174, pp. 131-140, (2015)

Compositional similarities and differences between transparent exopolymer particles (TEPs) from two marine bacteria and two marine algae: Significance to surface biofouling

Keywords

Transparent exopolymer particles, Reverse osmosis, Biofouling, Marine, Bacteria, Algae

Abstract

Transparent-exopolymer-particles (TEPs) have been recently identified as a significant contributor to surface biofouling, such as on reverse osmosis (RO) membranes. TEP research has mainly focused on algal TEP/TEP precursors while limited investigations have been conducted on those released by bacteria. In this study, TEP/TEP precursors derived from both algae and bacteria were isolated and then characterized to investigate their similarities and/or differences using various advanced analytical techniques, thus providing a better understanding of their potential effect on biofouling. Bacterial TEP/TEP precursors were isolated from two species of marine bacteria (Pseudidiomarina homiensis and Pseudoalteromonas atlantica) while algal TEP/TEP precursors were isolated from two marine algae species (Alexandrium tamarense and Chaetoceros affinis).

Results indicated that both isolated bacterial and algal TEP/TEP precursors were associated with protein-like materials, and most TEP precursors were high-molecular-weight biopolymers. Furthermore all investigated algal and bacterial TEP/TEP precursors showed a lectin-like property, which can enable them to act as a chemical conditioning layer and to agglutinate bacteria. This property may enhance surface biofouling. However, both proton nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra and the nitrogen/carbon (N/C) ratios suggested that the algal TEP/TEP precursors contained much less protein content than the bacterial TEP/TEP precursors. This difference may influence their initial deposition and further development of surface biofouling.

Code

DOI: 10.1016/j.marchem.2015.06.009

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