Effects of Silicon & Organometallic Antifoulants on Environmental Biofilms


Effects of Silicon & Organometallic Antifoulants on Environmental Biofilms


  • Collection of several environmental biofilm samples around or within Pace University’s Choate Pond
  • Successful inoculation of environmental samples in fresh LB Broth w/ blank slides and LB Agar using sterile techniques.
  • Tracked biofilm growth under controlled temperature & pressure of incubator to identify the source of the strongest biological sample. (Rock from underside of waterfall near Mortola Library) [ID: Lib R]
  • Inoculated and grew additional samples of Lib R for antifoulant slide testing
  • Etched and prepared glass slides for inoculation.
  • Synthesized organometallic laced silicon polymers on glass slides using a nucleation-network synthesis workup (Will B.)
  • Identified ideal method of biofilm growth detection. (Crystal Violet Detection of Polysaccharides)

Next Steps:

  • Design scheme for grading/scaling biofilm growth.
  • Inoculate Lib R samples in LB Broth w/ antifoulant slides.
  • Assess the effect of the antifoulant on biofilm growth.

Correlation between pigmentation and antifouling compounds found in the marine Pseudoalteromoas spongae

Progress:~1500 Base Pair Gel

We have successfully inoculuated four different cultures of Pseudoalteromoas species of four different origins. Following days of incubation, the cultures were run in the Polymerase Chain Reaction using a 1500 base pair sequence of ribosomal DNA whereas to seek out exclusive protein synthesizing properties. Standard operating procedures, utilizing the functionality of Thermus Aquaticus Polymerse, were performed under the appropriate pressure, temperature, time, and relative controls.DNA Ladder

To confirm the preceding amplification, we ran the four PCR products through a stained gel electrophoresis procedure. The model ladder was injected in the right-most lane while the experimentals were injected into the adjacent ones. The equivalence of the base pair sizes (via the migration in the electrolyzed gel over time) is observed to be equivalent. Furthermore, they are all seen to be equivalent to that of the ~1500 base pair size.


Next Steps:

We plan to send out the 8F-1508R PCR products for DNA sequencing where we can later assess the base pair sequence in reference to known species of Pseudoalteromoas. Further down the line, we plan to address the antifouling properties of the microbe(s) with experimental surfaces containing synthesized hybrid organic-inorganic polymers.

Correlation Between Pigmentation and Antifouling Compounds Found in Pseudoalteromoas Spongae


Tyler McDermott

Andrew Wier, PhD

Pace University – UG Blog October

Title:img_7090Correlation between pigmentation and antifouling compounds found in the marine Pseudoalteromoas spongae, an antimicrobial producing bacterium associated with eggs of the Hawaiian Bobtail squid, Euprymna scolopes


Pseudoalteromoas spongae is a pigmented microbial organism commonly found upon the surface of Hawaiian Bobtail Squid eggs, and serves a symbiotic purpose that seems mutually beneficial to both the microbe and the eggs. The bacterium is understood to withhold antifouling properties, at the biochemical level, that we wish to further understand. There may be naturally occurring compounds within the organism that prevent biofouling that we can identify, extract, and maybe even utilize for future protection of marine surfaces. Furthermore, there may be a correlation between the orange pigmentation of the microbe and these antifouling compounds.


We are looking to define the correlation between the pigmentation and antifouling compounds of Pseudoalteromoas spongae at a significant biochemical level.  Microbes are frequently researched for their negative effects on the physiological nature of living organisms, so we look forward to identifying a positive characteristic carried in a rare microorganism. Furthermore, we are constructing a presentation at the annual American Society of Microbiology meeting (2017).


Common laboratory techniques for cultured strains include catalase tests, polymerase chain reaction, coagulase tests, gram staining, oxidase tests, agar varieties, broth varieties, and more. The correlation and utilization of several microbiological techniques will allow us to investigate the biochemical properties of this organism.