Author(s): Singer ME, Finnerty WR
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Abstract The physiology of biosurfactant synthesis by a soil isolate, identified as a Rhodococcus species, is described. The biosurfactant is a surface-active glycolipid produced during the stationary growth phase of Rhodococcus species H13-A on n-alkanes and fatty alcohols in response to limiting ammonium ion concentrations. Hexadecane-grown cells produced increasing amounts of extracellular glycolipid when the carbon to nitrogen ratio (C/N) was increased from 1.7 to 3.4. The increase in extracellular glycolipid in hexadecane-grown cells correlated with a decrease in the interfacial tension of the spent growth medium to values less than 5 mN/m. Significant levels of extracellular glycolipid were not detected in the spent growth medium of cells grown on triglycerides, fatty acids, ethanol, organic acids, or carbohydrates. Rhodococcus species H13-A contains the three indigenous plasmids pMVS100, pMVS200, and pMVS300, with neither pMVS200 nor pMVS300 being involved in glycolipid synthesis or hexadecane dissimilation. The role of pMVS100 remains undetermined. Key words: biosurfactants, glycolipids, trehalose lipids, Rhodococcus.
This article was published in Can J Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation