Inhibition of Common Fouling Organisms by Marine Bacterial Isolates Ith Special Reference to the Role of Pigmented Bacteria

Biofouling. 1996;10(1-3):251-9. doi: 10.1080/08927019609386284.


Two questions of relevance to the establishment of marine biofouling communities were addressed, viz (1) what is the frequency with which bacterial strains isolated from living and inanimate surfaces in the marine environment show inhibitory activity against the settlement of common fouling organisms, and (2) is the antifouling bacterium, D2, an inhabitant of different marine waters, and how unique is this bacterium, in its mode of action against different target organisms? With respect to the first question, ninety three marine bacteria isolated from various rock surfaces from the marine environment were tested against larvae of Balanus amphitrite and spores of Ulva lactuca. Settlement assays against the diatom Amphora sp. were also performed on 10 of these strains. Nine bacterial isolates were shown to be inhibitory against larval settlement and eight of these strains were also inhibitory against algal spores. Altogether 16 strains were inhibitory against the settlement of algal spores while none of the bacterial strains inhibited diatom settlement. With respect to the second question, D2, a dark green pigmented bacterium, isolated from an adult tunicate off the Swedish west coast, has been found to be a very effective inhibitor against common fouling organisms. In order to see if this bacterium can be found in other marine waters, bacteria from living surfaces of marine plants and animals from waters around Sydney, Australia, were isolated and screened for inhibitory activity against barnacle larvae. Seventy four percent of the 23 plant isolates were shown to be inhibitory against larval settlement while only 30% of the 23 isolates from marine animals reduced settlement. Twenty two of the isolates from different seaweeds were dark pigmented and 20 of these strains inhibited settlement of barnacle larvae and algal spores. Three of the strains showed the same phenotypic expression as D2, and the results indicate that these strains may be D2 or closely related strains, suggesting that D2 may be a common inhabitant in the marine environment.