Halomonas titanicae

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Halomonas titanicae
Detached rusticles hires.jpg
Scientific classification
H. titanicae
Binomial name
Halomonas titanicae
Mann, Kaur, Sánchez-Porro & Ventosa 2010[1]

Halomonas titanicae is a gram-negative, halophilic species of proteobacteria which was discovered on rusticles recovered from the wreck of the RMS Titanic. Cristina Sánchez-Porro et al. first isolated the bacterium in 2010 from a sample of rusticle obtained from the RMS Titanic in 1991.[1] One of the researchers, Henrietta Mann has estimated that the action of microbes like Halomonas titanicae may bring about the total deterioration of the Titanic by 2030.[2] While the bacteria have been identified as a potential danger to oil rigs and other man-made objects in the deep sea, it also has the potential to be used in bioremediation to accelerate the decomposition of shipwrecks littering the ocean floor.[3][4]

In summer 2016, using neutron diffraction, the facilities of the Institut Laue-Langevin demonstrate that a molecule called ectoine is used by these bacteria to survive the osmotic pressure that salt water causes on their membranes.[5]


  1. ^ a b Cristina Sánchez-Porro; Bhavleen Kaur; Henrietta Mann; Antonio Ventosa (2010). "Halomonas titanicae sp. nov., a halophilic bacterium isolated from the RMS Titanic". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 60: 2768–2774. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.020628-0. PMID 20061494.
  2. ^ "New rust-eating bacteria 'destroying wreck of the Titanic'". Daily Mail. 10 December 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  3. ^ Betsy Mason (May 24, 2011). "Top 10 New Species Discovered in 2010". Wired. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ "New species of bacteria found in Titanic 'rusticles'". BBC News. December 6, 2010. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  5. ^ laboratoryequipment.com, September 6, 2016, Extremophile Bacteria’ Will Eat Away Wreck of the Titanic by 2030.

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