Characterization of corrosive bacterial consortia isolated from petroleum-product-transporting pipelines

Aruliah Rajasekar, Balakrishnan Anandkumar, Sundaram Maruthamuthu, Yen Peng Ting*, Pattanathu K. S. M. Rahman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Microbiologically influenced corrosion is a problem commonly encountered in facilities in the oil and gas industries. The present study describes bacterial enumeration and identification in diesel and naphtha pipelines located in the northwest and southwest region in India, using traditional cultivation technique and 16S rDNA gene sequencing. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA sequences of the isolates was carried out, and the samples obtained from the diesel and naphtha-transporting pipelines showed the occurrence of 11 bacterial species namely Serratia marcescens ACE2, Bacillus subtilis AR12, Bacillus cereus ACE4, Pseudomonas aeruginosa AI1, Klebsiella oxytoca ACP, Pseudomonas stutzeri AP2, Bacillus litoralis AN1, Bacillus sp., Bacillus pumilus AR2, Bacillus carboniphilus AR3, and Bacillus megaterium AR4. Sulfate-reducing bacteria were not detected in samples from both pipelines. The dominant bacterial species identified in the petroleum pipeline samples were B. cereus and S. marcescens in the diesel and naphtha pipelines, respectively. Therefore, several types of bacteria may be involved in biocorrosion arising from natural biofilms that develop in industrial facilities. In addition, localized (pitting) corrosion of the pipeline steel in the presence of the consortia was observed by scanning electron microscopy analysis. The potential role of each species in biofilm formation and steel corrosion is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1175-1188
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • 16S rDNA analysis
  • Bacterial community
  • Carbon steel API 5 L-X60
  • Microbiologically influenced corrosion
  • Petroleum product pipeline


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