Annals of Microbiology

, Volume 69, Issue 2, pp 139–150 | Cite as

Characterization of a biosurfactant-producing Leclercia sp. B45 with new transcriptional patterns of alkB gene

  • Yiying Shuai
  • Hanghai Zhou
  • Qinglin Mu
  • Dongdong Zhang
  • Ning Zhang
  • Jingchun Tang
  • Chunfang ZhangEmail author
Original Article


To investigate the hydrocarbon-degrading ability, biosurfactant-producing capacity, and alkane monooxygenase system of Leclercia spp. A bacterial strain classified as Leclercia sp. B45 was isolated, and its biosurfactant-producing capacity, hydrocarbon-degrading ability, and alkane hydroxylase (alkB) gene transcriptional patterns were evaluated by TLC, FTIR, GC-MS, and RT-qPCR, respectively. Strain B45 showed active biosurfactant-producing ability, which was preferentially induced by C16. The extracted biosurfactant tolerated a wide range of salinity, pH, and temperature. The degradation rate of n-decane (C10), n-hexadecane (C16), and octacosane (C28) by strain B45 could reach 92.6%, 94.1%, and 67.8%, respectively. Furthermore, the alkB transcription levels in the strain B45 with C10, C16, or C28 as a carbon source were distinctly higher than those of the control group during the late exponential and stationary phases. The relative alkB transcript copy number decreased with the increase in alkane chain length, which is consistent with B45 strain biodegradation kinetics. Leclercia sp. B45 showed excellent n-alkane degradation performance and biosurfactant-producing capacity. Meanwhile, the alkB gene in Leclercia sp. B45 is likely to represent a novel gene, whose transcription level was significantly upregulated when induced by n-alkane. These results provide new insights into alkane metabolism mechanism in Leclercia sp. B45.


Leclercia sp. Alkane alkB gene Biosurfactant 


Author Contribution

Yiying Shuai and Hanghai Zhou conducted the experiments and the analysis, and drafted the initial version of the manuscript. Qinglin Mu helped write the molecular biology section. Dongdong Zhang helped modify the whole paper. Ning Zhang helped the analysis of molecular biology data. Jingchun Tang helped write the discussion section of the manuscript as well as constructing the phylogenetic tree for the bacterial strains. Chunfang Zhang conceived, designed, and supervised the research work. All authors read and approved the final manuscript. This manuscript has not been published or presented elsewhere in part or entirety and is not under consideration by another journal. The statements provided by all authors are true.


This study was supported by the China Association of Marine Affairs (no. 2016AB033), by the Open Foundation from Fishery Sciences in the First-Class Subjects of Zhejiang (no. 20160006), and by XinJiang Keli New Technology Development Co., Ltd (K17-529102-004, K18-529102-014).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

This study does not require informed consent.

Supplementary material

13213_2018_1409_MOESM1_ESM.doc (4.6 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 4749 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature and the University of Milan 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Marine Biology, Ocean CollegeZhejiang UniversityZhoushanChina
  2. 2.Zhejiang Provincial Zhoushan Marine Ecological Environmental Monitoring StationZhoushanChina
  3. 3.College of Environmental Science and EngineeringNankai UniversityTianjinChina
  4. 4.College of Environmental Science and EngineeringGuilin University of TechnologyGuilinChina

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