common MIC terms you should know

16 common MIC (corrosion) terms you should know

To better understand the complex matter of Microbial Influenced Corrosion (MIC), it is pivotal to know the most common terms related to MIC. This article will walk you trough 16 common MIC terms.

1. What is MIC?

MIC stands for Microbial Influenced Corrosion. This container terminology defines all biological activity that results into loss of iron (Fe0). There are many different species that can influence metals. Roughly there are two mechanisms that will lead to loss of iron. These mechanisms are CMIC or EMIC

2. What are Bacteria?

These are any of the unicellular microorganisms, who are genetically distinct from the two other trees of life: Archaea and eukaryotes.

3. What is DNA?

DNA stands for the abbreviation Deoxyribonucleic acid. This is the molecule in every living organisms that caries genetic instructions. This is central in the development, the functioning and reproduction of an organism.

4. What are Archaea?

These are also unicellular microorganisms, who often life in extreme environmental conditions. Conditions where human beings can’t survive. Genetically, they are different from Bacteria and Eukaryotes.

5. What does ATP mean?

ATP stands for the moleculue Adenosine triphosphate. This an crucial molecule for the energy cycle within every living organism. This molecule can measured to provide an indicator about general biological activity.

6. What does the term ‘MMM methods’ refer to?

This refers to Molecular Microbiological methods and points to molecular analytical methods to characterize elements of biology. It’s thereby an umbrella term that can contain many different analytical technologies. In relation to MIC, the most recent techniques that are catagorized under this definition are: Direct sequencing, Next generation Sequencing, FISH, DGGE and qPCR.

7. What is H2S?

This molecule is defined as Hydrogen Sulfide, a toxic and highly corrosive substance. Hydrogen Sulfide can have a biological source (being produced by SRB’s) or be a result of a chemical reaction.

8. What is qPCR?

qPCR stands for quantitative polymerase chain reaction. This technique copies targetted regions of the genome (DNA or RNA) to measure specific properties or parts of the genome. This has become a common technique to measure and quantify specific targets. These targets can be selected based on the design of a primer set.

9. What is a Primer(set)

A ‘primer set’ is defined as at least on forward and one reverse primer. In practice it can contain more than just one forward and reverse primer. Both the forward and reverse primer have a complementary sequence to the selected target sequence. This allows the amplification of DNA copies from this selected sequence through the PCR process.

10. What are SRB’s?

SRB stands for Sulphate reducing bacteria. This represents a common group of bacteria that are associated to influence the corrosion process by the formation of H2S or by direct electron uptake from the metal surface.

11. What are SRP’s?

This term stands for sulfate reducing prokaryotes. In this definition both sulfate reducing organisms from the group of bacteria and Archaea are included.

12. Taxonomic coverage, is this relevant?

Taxanomic coverage stands for the number of species that are detected with a primer for either qPCR or amplicon based sequencing. It is then defined as the number of species that are detected in relation to the total target of species.

13. CMIC

Chemical microbially influenced corrosion or CMIC occurs through the formation of corrosive components, such as organic acids, which stimulate the corrosion of iron. So there is stimulation of the cathodic reaction by metabolic end products, e.g. H2S. The H2S formed will then corrode the iron.

14. EMIC

Electronically Microbiological Influenced Corrosion; There are several mechanisms under this heading. Ultimately with the same goal: to use electrons from iron. EMIC differs from CMIC in that it directly influences electron transfer at the surface of a metal. Whereas CMIC depends on chemical processes that take place between the micro-organisms and the metal, with EMIC the micro-organisms take control.

15. What is a swab?

This is a small cotton-tipped stick that can be used for the sampling of surface areas. This approach can be used to sample sessile bacteria attached to the surface.

16. What is NGS?

Next Generation sequencing is a term that refers to different technologies that are capable to identify genetic fragments. The most common used approach within biomonitoring is to amplify a specific region before sequencing. Usually the 16s rRNA general bacteria is being used to identify all the present micro organisms in a sample.

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