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Top 10 - 2011

Bacterium

(Electron micrograph (negative staining) of Halomonas titanicae (with permission from the Society for General Microbiology); Closer view of rusticles formed on RMS Titanic wreck (courtesy of RMS Titanic Inc.); ESEM showing stacked mineralized individual bacterium in the form of a stalagmite shape occurring inside a rusticle (courtesy of Dr. Henrietta Mann).)

Name:  Halomonas titanicae

Common Name:  None

Family:  Halomonadaceae

How it made the Top 10:  This new species of iron-oxide consuming bacteria was discovered on a rusticle from the RMS Titanic.  Studies show that it sticks to steel surfaces creating knob-like mounds of corrosion products that have contributed, along with other microorganisms, to the deterioration process of the Titanic's metal.  This will eventually lead to the Titanic's disappearance.  This bacterium could be useful to perform studies related to the disposal of old naval and merchant ships that have sunk in the deep ocean.

Reference:  Sanchez-Porro, C., B. Kaur, H. Mann and A. Ventosa. 2010. Halomonas titanicae sp. nov., a halophilic bacterium isolated from the RMS Titanic. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 60(12):2768-2774.

Type Material:  The type strain is BH1T (=ATCC BAA-1257T =CECT 7585T =JCM 16411T =LMG 25388T).

Type Locality:  None provided.

Etymology:  titanicae (ti.ta´ni.cae. N.L. fem. n. titanica the ship Titanic; N.L. fem. gen. n. titanicae of or from the ship Titanic).

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