Molecular Identification and Biofilm-Forming Ability of Culturable Aquatic Bacteria In Microbial Biofilms Formed in Drinking Water Distribution Networks
Drinking water distribution networks are known to harbor microbial biofilms. The aim of the present work is to (i) identify the culturable bacteria presented in the drinking-water distribution network, (ii) investigate the ability of isolated bacteria to form biofilm under some environmental stress conditions and some eliminating or removing treatments. To achieve it, 57 strains were isolated from biofilm (43 isolates) and water samples (14 isolates) collected from five stations in drinking-water distribution network in Taif city, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Partial sequences of 16S rRNA gene in the 57 isolates ensured the presence of only 22 different strains in biofilm samples. Among these strains, only 14 strains were also detected in water samples. Gram-negative Aeromonas hydrophila was the most occurred bacterium in the microbial biofilm obtained from the purified-water storage tanks followed by Gram-negative Pseudomonas sp. Gram-positive Bacillus subtilis was the most occurred bacterium in the microbial biofilm collected from the ends of the distribution pipes. Among the 22 isolated strains, 13 strains were strong biofilm producers at 30 and 37°C. The effects of environmental stresses including nutrient starvation (diluted TSB, 20:1), heating (100°C for 10 min), UV-treatment (240 nm for 10 min) and dynamic incubation (150 rpm min?1) on the formation of biofilm were also investigated. These conditions affected the biofilm formation ability of the isolated strains at different levels. Nutrient starvation enhanced biofilm formation by most of the isolates. Among some biofilm deforming treatments, SDS and trypsin had considerable effects on preventing biofilm formation by most of the isolated strains. In conclusion, the results of the present work indicated that not all biofilm strains released from biofilm to the drinking water. Also, not all biofilm strains were able to form biofilm. Most of isolated bacteria had ability to form biofilm at suboptimum temperature of growth. These results may provide basic information on formation of microbial biofilms and overcome the problem of deteriorating of water quality in the drinking-water distribution networks.