Elisa Korenblum 1 , Livia Vieira de Araujo 2 , Carolina Reis Guimarães 2 , Lauro M de Souza 3 , Guilherme Sassaki 3 , Fernanda Abreu 1 , Márcia Nitschke 4 , Ulysses Lins 1 , Denise Maria Guimarães Freire 2 , Eliana Barreto-Bergter 1 , Lucy Seldin , 1 , 5
7 November 2012
Bacillus sp. H2O-1, isolated from the connate water of a Brazilian reservoir, produces an antimicrobial substance (denoted as AMS H2O-1) that is active against sulfate reducing bacteria, which are the major bacterial group responsible for biogenic souring and biocorrosion in petroleum reservoirs. Thus, the use of AMS H2O-1 for sulfate reducing bacteria control in the petroleum industry is a promising alternative to chemical biocides. However, prior to the large-scale production of AMS H2O-1 for industrial applications, its chemical structure must be elucidated. This study also analyzed the changes in the wetting properties of different surfaces conditioned with AMS H2O-1 and demonstrated the effect of AMS H2O-1 on sulfate reducing bacteria cells.
A lipopeptide mixture from AMS H2O-1 was partially purified on a silica gel column and identified via mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). It comprises four major components that range in size from 1007 to 1049 Da. The lipid moiety contains linear and branched β-hydroxy fatty acids that range in length from C13 to C16. The peptide moiety contains seven amino acids identified as Glu-Leu-Leu-Val-Asp-Leu-Leu.
Transmission electron microscopy revealed cell membrane alteration of sulfate reducing bacteria after AMS H2O-1 treatment at the minimum inhibitory concentration (5 μg/ml). Cytoplasmic electron dense inclusions were observed in treated cells but not in untreated cells. AMS H2O-1 enhanced the osmosis of sulfate reducing bacteria cells and caused the leakage of the intracellular contents. In addition, contact angle measurements indicated that different surfaces conditioned by AMS H2O-1 were less hydrophobic and more electron-donor than untreated surfaces.
AMS H2O-1 is a mixture of four surfactin-like homologues, and its biocidal activity and surfactant properties suggest that this compound may be a good candidate for sulfate reducing bacteria control. Thus, it is a potential alternative to the chemical biocides or surface coating agents currently used to prevent SRB growth in petroleum industries.