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Our address

Department of Marine Sciences and Fisheries, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Al Khoud 123, PO Box 34, Muscat, Oman sergey@squ.edu.om

Our Publications

With Prof. Qian HKUST




Our Publications

Schwartz N,  Rhode S, Dobretsov S, Hiromori S, Schupp JP. 2017. The role chemical defense in the invasion success of Sargassum muticum: a comparison of native and invasive brown algae. PLOS One 12: e0189761 Text

In this collaborative work with the German researchers we compared antifouling properties of Sargassum muticum. 

 Dahms H-U, Dobretsov S. 2017. Antifouling compounds from marine macroalgae. Marine Drugs 15: 265 Text

This review is about antifouling compounds from green, red and brown macroalgae. 

Schwartz N, Dobretsov S,  Rhode S, Schupp P. 2017. Comparison of antifouling properties of native and invasive Sargassum species. European J Phycology 52: 116-131 Text

In this collaborative work with the German researchers we compared antifouling properties of Sargassum species from Oman and those from Japan. 

Sathe P, Laxman K, Myint MTZ, Dobretsov S,  Richter J, Dutta J. 2017. Bioinspired nanocoatings for biofouling prevention by photocatalytic redox reactions. Nature Scientific Reports 7: 3624  Text

In this article we demonstrated that antifouling paints accumulate potential pathogens and propose to use ZnO nanocoatings for antifouling defense of fishing nets.

Al Hinai M, Sathe P, Al-Abri M, Dobretsov S,  Al-Hinai A, Dutta J. 2017. Antimicrobial activity enhansment  of poly (ether sulfone) membranes by in situ growth of ZnO nanorods. ACS Omega 2: 3157-3167  Text

Membranes with grown ZnO nanorods have high antimicrobial activity 

Muthukrishnan T, Govender A, Dobretsov S,  Abed RMM. 2017. Evaluation reliability of counting bacteria using epifluorescence microscopy. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering 5 (1), 4  Text

An important article for those who count microoganisms in biofilms. It shows non-uniform distribution of bacterua on a glass slide. 

Al Naamani L, Dobretsov S,  Dutta J, Burgess G. 2017. Chitosan-ZnO nanocomposite coatings for the prevention of marine fouling. Chemosphere 168: 408-417 Link

The first report of antifouling properties of chitosan-ZnO nanocomposite coatings. 

Bora T, Sathe P, Laxman K, Dobretsov S, Dutta J. 2017. Direct engineered visible light active ZnO nanorods for photocatalytic treatment of water. Catalysis today 284:11-18 Link

This is an invited experimental article about water treatment using nanocoatings.  

Ziegler, M., Arif, C., Burt, J., Dobretsov, S., Roder, C., LaJeunesse, T.C., Voolstra, C., 2017. Biogeography and molecular diversity of coral symbionts in the genus Symbiodinium around the Arabian Peninsula. Journal of Biogeography. http://wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/jbi 1 doi:10.1111/jbi.12913

Our study represents a comprehensive overview over biogeography and molecular diversity of Symbiodinium in the Arabian Seas, where coral reefs thrive in one of the most extreme environmental settings on the planet.

Jin-Long Yang, Yi-Feng Li, Xiao Liang, Xing-Pan Guo, De-Wen Ding, Demin Zhang, Shuxue Zhou, Wei-Yang Bao, Nikoleta Bellou & Sergey Dobretsov. 2016. Silver Nanoparticles Impact Biofilm Communities and Mussel Settlement. Scientific Reports 6:37406, DOI: 10.1038/srep37406. Link

We report that silver nanoparticles modify biofilms and affect mussel settlement. Nature publishing group presentation.  

Carvalho AP, Batista D, Dobretsov S,  Coutinho R.  2016. Extracts of seaweeds as potential inhibitors of quorum sensing and bacterial growth. Journal Applied Phycology in print

Another study with my Brazilian collaborators on quorum sensing inhibitors from macroalgae .

Al Naamani L, Dobretsov S,  Dutta J.  2016. Chitosan-ZnO nanoparticle composite coating for active food packaging applications. Innovate Food Science and Emerging Technologies 38: 231-237 in print

Antimicrobial properties of the chitosan- ZnO nanoapticle coating against food pathogens.  

Jin-Long Yang, Yi-Feng Li, Xing-Pan Guo, Xiao Liang, Yue-Feng Xu, De-Wen

Ding, Wei-Yang Bao & Sergey Dobretsov 2016. The effect of carbon nanotubes and titanium dioxide incorporated in PDMS on biofilm community composition and subsequent mussel plantigrade settlement, Biofouling, 32:7, 763-777 link

In this article we showed antifouling potential of TiO2 nanoparticles and carbon nanotubes in PDMS. For the first time the effect of a biofilm from an antifouling coating on mussel settlement was shown.  

Dobretsov S, Tamimi Y, Al-Kindi M, Burney I. 2016. Screening for anticancer compounds in marine organisms in Oman. SQU Medical Journal 16: 168-174 (download)

This is the first study about anticancer compounds from marine organisms in Oman.  

Sathe P, Myint MTZ, Dobretsov S, Dutta J. 2016. Self-decontaminating photocatalytic nanorod coatings for prevention of marine microfouling: a mesocosm study. Biofouling 32: 383-395

This is the first study that used Illumina MySeq metagenomic approach to study marine biofilms. Additionally, we demonstrated that ZnO nanorod coating can prevent biofouling in "real world conditions" using sun light during natural light: dark photoperiod.  

Sathe P, Richter U, Myint MTZ, Dobretsov S, Dutta J. 2016. Removal and regrowth inhibition of microalgae using visible light photocatalysis with ZnO nanorods: A green technology. Separation and Purification Technology 162: 61-66

Use of ZnO coated substrata for removal of algae. The technology can be effective for the prevention of algal blooms.

Al Kharusi S., Abed M.M.R., Dobretsov S. 2016. EDTA addition enhances bacterial respiration activities and hydrocarbon degradation in bioaugmented and non-bioaugmented oil-contaminated desert soils  Chemosphere, 147: 279-286 (download)

EDTA enhaces oil biodegradation by bacteria.

Al Kharusi S., Abed M.M.R., Dobretsov S. 2016. Changes in respiration activities and bacterial communities in bioaugmentated oil polluted soil in response to addition of acyl homoserine lactones.  International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation, 107: 165-173 (download)

For the first time this study demonstrated that AHLs can enhance oil biodegradation by bacteria.

Dobretsov S., Al-Wahaibi A., Lai D., Al-Sabahi J., Claereboudt M., Proksch P., Soussi B. 2015. Inhibition of bacterial fouling by soft coral natural products.  International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation, 98: 53-58 (download)

This study demonstrated the antifouling effect of Oman soft corals. For the first time antifouling properties of fatty acid esters have been shown.

Luxman  K., Myint MTZ., Al-Abri M., Sathe P., Dobretsov S. , Dutta J. 2015. Desalination and disinfection of inland brakish ground water in a capacitive deionization cell using nanoporous activated carbon cloth electrodes. Desalination, 362: 126-132 (download)

A quick and effective method for desalination and disinfection of brakish water.

Goddard  S., Delghandi M., Dobretsov S. , Al-Oufi H., Al-Habsi S., Burgess G. 2015. The first GCC Marine Biotechnology symposium: emerging opportunities and future perspectives. Marine Biotechnology, 17: 285-289 (download)

An information about the first GCC marine biotechnology symposium.

Batista D., Polycarpa Carvalho A., Costa R., Coutinho R., Dobretsov S. 2014. Extracts of macroalgae from the Brazilian coast inhibit bacterial quorum sensing.  Botanica Marina, 57: 441-447 (download)

This study shows importance of bacteria associated with algae in productionof quorum sensing inhibitory compoounds. This is the first study of quorum sensing inhibitors in Brazil. 

Muthukrishnan T., Abed R.M.M., Dobretsov S., Kidd B., Finnie A.A. (2014) Long-term microfouling on commercial biocidal fouling control coatings. Biofouling 30: 1155-1164 (download)

This study shows the community compoistion of 1 year old biofilms developed on antifouling coatings. This is the first study in which pyrosequencing of bacterial communities developed on antifouling paints was used.

Al Fori M., Dobretsov S., Myint MTZ., Dutta J. (2014) Antifouling properties of ZnO nanorods. Biofouling 30: 871-882 (download)

First study showing possibility of prevention of biofouling by ZnO nanorods in laboratory conditions

Dobretsov S., Abed R., Voolstra C. (2013) The effect of surface colour on the formation of marine micro- and macro-fouling communities. Biofouling 29: 617-627 (download)

First 454 pyrosequencing study of marine biofilms on black and white substrata showing high biodiversity

Abed R, Dobretsov S., Al-Fori M., Gunasekera S.P., Sudesh K., Paul V.J. (2013) Quorum sensing inhibitory compounds from extremophilic microorganisms isolated from a hypersaline cyanobacterial mat. J Ind Biotech Microb 40:759-772  (download)

DKPs from hypersaline bacteria inhibit quorum sensing 

Dobretsov S., Abed R, Teplitski M. (2013) Mini-review: Inhibition of biofouling by marine microorganisms. Biofouling 29: 423-441  (download)

This review covers antifouling compounds from bacteria and fungi  

Wahl M., Goecke F., Labes A., Dobretsov S., Weinberger F. (2012) The second skin: ecological role of epibiotic biofilms on marine organisms. Frontiers in Aquatic Microbiology 3: 292. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2012.00292 (download)

This is a nice review about the role of epibiotic biofilms 

Bellou N., Papathanassiou E., Dobretsov S., Lykousis V., Colijin F. (2012) The effect of substratum type, orientation and depth on the development of bacterial deep-sea biofilm communities grown on artificial substrata deployed in the Eastern Mediterranean. Biofouling 28:199-213 (download)

This is the first study that used T-RFLP in order to investigate deep-sea biofouling communities on different materials. 

Dobretsov S. & Thomason J. (2011) The development of marine biofilms on two commercial non-biocidal coatings: a comparison between silicone and fluoropolymer technologies. Biofouling 27:869-880 (download)

In this study we showed that new generation of fluoropolymer coating Intersleek 900 is defending better from microbial biofouling than old generation of silicone coating Intersleek 700.

Dobretsov S., Teplitski M, Bayer M, Gunasekera S, Proksch P, Paul VJ. (2011) Inhibition of marine biofouling by quorum sensing inhibitors. Biofouling 27:893-905 (download)

In this study we investigated the effect of marine natural products on quorum sensing inhibition of Chromobacterium violaceum CV017. Quorum sensing inhibiton of few natural products were investigated using E.coli modified reporters. Finally, we demonstrated that kojic acid inhibited biofouling in the mesocosm experiment.

Weinberger F., Rohde S, Oschmann Y., Shahnaz L., Dobretsov S., Wahl M. 2011. Effects of limitation stress and of disruptive stress on induced antigrazing defense in the bladder wrack Fucus vesiculosus. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 427:83-94 (download)

In this study we demosntrated change in antigrazing defence in the seaweed Fucus vesiculosus. 

Dobretsov S., Abed RMM., Al Maskari SMS., Al Sabahi JN., Victor R. 2011. Cyanobacterial mats from hot springs produce antimicrobial compounds and quorum sensing inhibitors under natural conditions. Journal of Applied Phycology 23: 983-993 (download)

For the first time we showed production of quorum sensing inhibitors and antibacterial compounds under in situ conditions.

Dobretsov S., Teplitski M., Alagely A., Gunasekera S., Paul V. 2010. Malyngolide from the cyanobacterium Lyngbya majuscula interferes with QS circuitry. Environmental Microbiology Reports 2(6): 739-744 (download)

Malyngolide from the cyanobacterium Lyngbya majuscula was found to be an important quorum sensing inhibitor.

M. Wahl, L. Shahnaz, S. Dobretsov, M. Saha, F. Symanowski, K. David, T. Lachnit, Matthias Vasel, F. Weinberger. 2010. Ecology of the bladder wrack’s Fucus vesiculosus resistance to fouling: 1. patterns of microfouling and antimicrobial protection. Marine Ecology Progress Series 411: 33-48 (download)

Changes in microbial eipibiotic communities on the surface of Fucus vesiculosus due to light intensity have been shown.

With Prof. PY Qian

Dobretsov S, Gosselin L, Qian PY. (2010) Effects of solar PAR and UV radiation on tropical biofouling communities. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 402:31-43 (PDF)

Qian PY, Lau SCK, Dahms HU, Dobretsov S., Harder T. (2007) (Invited review). Marine biofilms as mediators of colonization by marine macroorganisms implications for antifouling and aquaculture. Mar Biotech.9: 399-410. (PDF)

Huang YL, Dobretsov S, Xiong HR, Qian PY (2007) Effect of biofilm formation by Pseudoalteromonas spongiae on induction oflarval settlement of the polychaete Hydroides elegans.Applied Environ. Microbiol. 73: 6284-6288. (PDF)

Huang YL, Dobretsov S, Yang LH, Qian PY (2007) Presence of acyl-homoserine lactone in subtidal biofilm and the implication in larval behavioral response in the polychaete Hydroides elegans. Microbiol. Ecol. 54:384-392. (PDF)

Dobretsov S, Dahms H, Huang YL, Wahl M , Qian PY (2007) The effect of quorum sensing blockers on the formation of marine microbial communities and larval attachment. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol.60:177-188. (PDF)

Dobretsov S, Xiong HR, Xu Y, Levin L, Qian PY (2007) Novel antifoulants: inhibition of larval attachment by proteases. Mar. Biotech. 9: 388-397. (PDF)

Xiong HR, Song LS, XU Y, Tsoi MY, Dobretsov S, Qian PY (2007) Characterization of proteolytic bacteria from the Aleutian deep-sea and their proteases. J Ind. Microbiol. Biotech. 34: 63-71. (PDF)

Lee OO, Lau SCK, Tsoi MMY, Li XC, Plakhotnikova I, Dobretsov S, Wu MCS, Wong PK, Weinbauer M,
Qian PY (2006) Shewanella irciniae sp. nov., a novel member of the family Shewanellaceae, isolated from the marine sponge Ircinia dendroides in the Bay of Villefrance, Mediterranean Sea. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol 56:2871-2877. (PDF)

Qian PY, Dobretsov S, Dahms HU, Pawlik J (2006) Antifouling activity and microbial diversity of two congeneric sponges Callyspongia spp. from Hong Kong and the Bahamas. Mar Ecol Prog Ser324:151–165.

Li XC, Dobretsov S, Xu Y, Yung LH, Qian PY (2006) Antifouling diketopiperazines produced by the deep-sea bacterium Streptomyces pseudogriseolus. Biofouling. 22:201-208. (PDF)

Lee OO, Lau SCK, Tsoi MMY, Li XC, Plakhotnikova I, Dobretsov S, Wu MCS, Wong PK, Qian PY (2006) Gillisia myxillae sp. nov., a novel member of the family Flavobacteriaceae, isolated from the marine sponge Myxilla incrustans. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol 56:1795-1799. (PDF)

Dobretsov S, Qian PY (2006) Facilitation and inhibition of larval settlement of the bryozoan Bugula neritina in association with mono-species and multi-species biofilms. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 333:263-274. (PDF)

Lau SCK, Tsoi MMY, Li XC, Plakhotnikova I, Dobretsov S, Wu M, Wong PK, Pawlik JR, Qian PY (2006) Description of Fabibacterhalotolerans gen. nov., sp. nov. and Roseivirga spongocola sp. nov. and reclassification of [Marinicolaseohaensis as Roseiviga seohaensis comb. nov. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol 56: 1059-1065. (PDF)

Dobretsov S, Dahms HU, Qian PY (2006) Inhibition of biofouling by marine microorganisms and their metabolites (invited review). Biofouling 22: 43-54(PDF)

Lau SCK, Tsoi MMY, Li XC, Plakhotnikova I, Dobretsov S, Wong PK, Pawlik JR, Qian PY (2006) Stenothermobacter spongiae gen. nov., sp. nov., a novel member of the family Flavobacteriaceae isolated from a marine sponge in the  Bahamas, and emended description of Nonlabens tegetincola. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol 56: 181-185 (PDF)

Lau SCK, Tsoi MMY, Li XC, Plakhotnikova I, Dobretsov S, Wong PK, Qian PY (2005) Gramella portivictoriae sp. nov., a novel member of the family Flavobacteriaceae isolated from marine sediment. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 55: 2497-2500. (PDF)

Lau, SCK, Tsoi MMY, Li XC, Plakhotnikova I, Dobretsov S, Wong PK, Pawlik JR, Qian PY (2005) Nonlabens tegetincola gen. nov., sp. nov., a novel member of the family Flavobacteriaceae isolated from a microbial mat in a subtropical estuary. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 55: 2279-2283. (PDF)

Dobretsov S, Dahms HU, Tsoi MMY, Qian PY (2005) Chemical control of epibiosis by Hong Kong sponges: the effect of sponge extracts on micro- and macrofouling communities. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 279:119-129 (PDF)

Lau SCK, Tsoi MMY, Li XC, Plakhotnikova I, Dobretsov S, Lau KWJ, Wu M, Wong PK, Pawlik JR,
Qian PY (2005) Winogradskyella poriferorum sp. nov., a novel member of the family Flavobacteriaceae isolated from a sponge in the Bahamas, Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol 55: 1589-1592. (PDF)

Lau SCK, Tsoi MMY, Li XC, Dobretsov S, Plakhotnikova I, Wong PK, Qian PY (2005) Pseudoalteromonas spongiae sp. nov., a novel member of the gamma-Proteobacteriaisolated from the sponge
Mycale adhaerens in Hong Kong waters. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol 55: 1593-1596. (PDF)

Dobretsov S, Qian PY, Wahl M (2005) Effect of solar ultraviolet radiation on the formation of shallow, early successional biofouling communities in Hong Kong. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 290:55-65. (PDF)

Dobretsov S, Dahms HU, Qian PY (2005) Antibacterial and anti-diatom activity of Hong Kong sponges. Aquatic Microbial Ecology 38:191-201. (PDF)

Dahms HU, Dobretsov S, Qian PY (2004) The effect of combined bacterial and diatom biofilms on the settlement of the bryozoan Bugula neritina. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 313:191-209. (PDF)

Harder T, Dobretsov S, Qian PY (2004) Waterborne polar macromolecules act as algal antifoulants in the seaweed Ulva reticulata. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 274:133-141. (PDF)

Dobretsov S, Dahms HU, Qian PY*. 2004. Antilarval and antimicrobial activity of waterborne metabolites of the sponge Callyspongia (Euplacella) pulvinata: evidence of allelopathy. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 271:133-146. (PDF)

Dobretsov S, QianPY (2004) The role of epibotic bacteria from the surface of the soft coral
Dendronephthya sp. in the inhibition of larval settlement. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 299: 35-50. (PDF)

Harder T, Lau SCK, Dobretsov S, Fong M, Qian PY (2003) A distinctive epibiotic bacterial community on the soft coral Dendronephthya sp. and antibacterial activity of coral tissue extracts suggest a chemical mechanism against bacterial epibiosis. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 43 (3): 337-347. (PDF)

Dobretsov S, Qian PY (2003) Pharmacological induction of larval settlement and metamorphosis in the blue mussel Mytilus edulis L. Biofouling 19: 57-63 

Dobretsov S, Qian PY (2002) Effect of bacteria from surface of the green seaweed Ulva reticulata on marine micro- and macrofouling. Biofouling 18:276-287.

Newspapers and magazine articles

SQU addresses key issues in marine and fisheries sector. Horizon 334, March 2016

I like everything here! An article about German internship student that visited and worked in our laboratory. Horizon, February 2015

Isolating anti-cancer compounds from marine organisms. Oman Observer, 16 March 2014

Nanotechnology: applications and opportunities . Horizon, February 2014 

Inhibitors of “Bacterial language”. SQU Magazine Horizon, Issue 206, 20 January 2011 download

SQU researcher's identify ‘inhibitors of bacterial language' in Oman Gulf News , December 5, 2010

SQU research can pave way for pathbreaking drugs. Times of Oman, December 6, 2010

Bioactive compound from Oman soft coral. SQU Magazine Horizon, Issue 179, 30 December 2009

Researchers isolate bioactive compound from Oman soft coral Oman Tribune, 5 December 2009


Video about slimes on ships that mentioned our group research activity 


Brief summary about the HM grant  "Economical, social and environmental impacts of marine biofouling in the Sultanate of Oman" in English and in Arabic