Author(s): Deziel E, Paquette G, Villemur R, Lepine F, Bisaillon J
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Abstract The capacity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-utilizing bacteria to produce biosurfactants was investigated. Twenty-three bacteria isolated from a soil contaminated with petroleum wastes were able to form clearing zones on mineral salt agar plates sprayed with solutions of PAHs. Naphthalene and phenanthrene were utilized as sole substrates. Biosurfactant production was detected by surface tension lowering and emulsifying activities from 10 of these strains grown in an iron-limited salt medium supplemented with high concentrations of dextrose or mannitol, as well as with naphthalene or phenanthrene. Glycolipid determinations showed that in cultures of Pseudomonas aeruginosa 19SJ on naphthalene, the maximal productivity of biosurfactants was delayed compared with that in cultures grown on mannitol. However, when small amounts of biosurfactants and naphthalene degradation intermediates were present at the onset of the cultivation, the delay was markedly shortened. Production of biosurfactants was accompanied by an increase in the aqueous concentration of naphthalene, indicating that the microorganism was promoting the solubility of its substrate. Detectable amounts of glycolipids were also produced on phenanthrene. This is the first report of biosurfactant production resulting from PAH metabolism.
This article was published in Appl Environ Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Petroleum & Environmental Biotechnology