BEIJING-Chinese scientists have used marine bacteria to inhibit the corrosion of steel materials through genetic editing, according to the China Science Daily Tuesday.

Corrosion in the marine environment is an international problem that not only causes huge economic losses but also poses a threat to the safety of marine engineering.

Most of the traditional anti-corrosion methods rely on chemical or electrochemical means, however, they typically have a high cost and are not environmentally friendly.

Scientists from the Shanghai Maritime University and the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences have found that a non-pathogenic marine bacteria extracted from the South China Sea can form a biofilm on the surface of the steel. Through genetic editing, the biofilm shows lasting anticorrosion capabilities.

Based on the research, scientists are also developing new types of corrosion-resistant steel which can not only withstand the harsh marine environment but are also compatible with coral growth. They can be applied to island and reef construction as well as restoration of coral reefs.