Bacteria breaking free from home

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When bacteria grow in the environment for example on water systems or pipelines, their metabolic activity can lead to degradation of the metal and to corrosion of the material. This can seriously effect functioning of the pipes which can then also result in serious health issues.

One bacterium that likes to grow on metallic surfaces in the soil is the bacterium Desulfovibrio vulgaris. This interesting bacterium can live with sulphur rather than oxygen and has not been fully characterised yet.

The problem with bacteria like Desulfovibrio vulgaris is that they like to form biofilms on metallic surfaces in the warm and wet soil. If you do not remember what a biofilm is, you might want to refresh your memory with this post where I explain in more detail what biofilms are.

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Bacteria breaking free from home

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Sarah Wettstadt

Science Writer, MicroComms

Dr Sarah Wettstadt is a microbiologist-turned science writer and communicator working on various outreach projects and helping researchers talk and write about their scientific results. Her overall vision is to empower through learning: she shares scientific knowledge with both scientists and non-scientists and coaches scientists in writing about their research. Sarah is blog commissioner for the FEMSmicroBlog and was a social media editor for FEMS for 1.5 years. Furthermore, she writes the blog BacterialWorld explaining bacterial concepts and co-founded the STEM-video platform STEMcognito. Previous to her science communication career, she worked as a postdoc in Marían Llamas’ lab on Pseudomonas aeruginosa’s ability to use heterologous iron sources and completed her PhD with Alain Filloux investigating the type 6 secretion system in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.