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Biosurfactant production by Pseudomonas fluorescens 378: growth and product characteristics

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An isolate of Pseudomonas fluorescens, strain 378 was shown to produce a novel surface active compound (code name AP-6). The compound is unique in being a high molecular weight compound but has, in some aspects, properties of a low molecular weight surfactant. The product is extracellular and its formation appeared to be partly growth-associated. Using a semisynthetic medium, fermentor cultivations were performed in the pH range 6.8–8.4. The product yield was optimal at pH 8.0 and gave a final concentration of 210 times critical micelle dilution. At higher pH, specific growth rate, final biomass and product concentration decreased. It consists mainly of carbohydrates and protein, the molecular weight is 1×106 and the isoelectric point is pH 9.1.

The surface tension of an aqueous solution reached 27 mN/m which is a very low value even compared to other surfactants of considerably lower size and the critical micelle concentration was less than 10 mg/l in 0.9% (w/v) NaCl. The kinetics of the adsorption process at the air-water interface was studied using the drop volume technique, and the reaction was found to be rapid, considering the size of the molecule. A concentration as low as 0.025 g/l reached a surface tension of 30 mN/m within 70 s.

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Correspondence to Anders Persson.

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Persson, A., Österberg, E. & Dostalek, M. Biosurfactant production by Pseudomonas fluorescens 378: growth and product characteristics. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 29, 1–4 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00258342

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  • Surfactant
  • Surface Tension
  • Critical Micelle Concentration
  • Specific Growth Rate
  • Pseudomonas Fluorescens