Application of metabolomics to understanding biofilms in water distribution systems: a pilot study

Beale, D, Barratt, R, Marlow, D, Dunn, M, Palombo, E, Morrison, P and Key, C 2013, 'Application of metabolomics to understanding biofilms in water distribution systems: a pilot study', Biofouling: Journal of Bioadhesion and Biofilm Research, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 283-294.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Application of metabolomics to understanding biofilms in water distribution systems: a pilot study
Author(s) Beale, D
Barratt, R
Marlow, D
Dunn, M
Palombo, E
Morrison, P
Key, C
Year 2013
Journal name Biofouling: Journal of Bioadhesion and Biofilm Research
Volume number 29
Issue number 3
Start page 283
End page 294
Total pages 12
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Abstract Biofilms formed in pipes are known to contribute to waterborne diseases, accelerate corrosion and cause aesthetic taste and odour issues within the potable water supply network. This paper describes a pilot study, undertaken to assess the potential of using metabolomics to monitor bacterial activity in biofilms of an urban water network. Using samples from a water mains flushing programme, it was found that a profile of intracellular and extracellular metabolites associated with microbial activity could be obtained by analysing samples using gas chromatography mass spectrometry. Chemometric analysis of the chromatograms in conjunction with data from the mass spectrometer showed that it is possible to differentiate between biofilms from different pipe materials and planktonic bacteria. This research demonstrates that metabolomics has the potential for investigating biofilms and other microbial activity within water networks, and could provide a means for enhancing monitoring programmes, understanding the source of water quality complaints, and optimising water network management strategies.
Subject Separation Science
Keyword(s) water quality
water mains flushing
biofilm
metabolomics
metabolites
water distribution
DOI - identifier 10.1080/08927014.2013.772140
Copyright notice © 2013 Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Australia, as represented by the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, Australia
ISSN 0892-7014
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