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Insights into Organic-Solvent-Tolerant Bacteria and Their Biotechnological Potentials

Chapter

Abstract

Organic-solvent-tolerant bacteria (OSTB) are an amazing group of extremophiles that survive the massive membrane-disturbing effect produced by solvent accumulation. These bacteria possess novel adaptation mechanisms such as toluene efflux pumps, cis-trans isomerisation of membrane fatty acids, changes in cellular morphology such as decrease in cell surface to volume ratio, rapid membrane repair mechanisms, etc. In addition to the scientific significance, these microbes have tremendous potential in industrial and environmental biotechnology due to their enzymes retaining function in the presence of organic solvents.

In the present study, estuarine sediment samples from the Mandovi Estuary of Goa were used for the isolation of OSTB. SB 1 and BC 1 were the predominant isolates obtained by butanol enrichment and growth on cholesterol agar respectively and identified to belong to the genus Bacillus on the basis of morphological and biochemical characteristics. Changes in cell surface hydrophobicity, reduction in cell size from 3 to 1.8 µm in length, filamentation in solvent saturation conditions along with thickening of the cell, production of exopolymer and the presence of a capsule were certain phenomena observed in Bacillus subtilis SB1. Bacillus megaterium BC1 effectively transformed cholesterol into cholest-4-ene-3,6-dione in a biphasic system of 50 % chloroform and phosphate buffer. Since they withstand extreme solvent stress and survive in solvent-saturated environments, they would be good candidates for biotechnological applications.

Keywords

Extremophiles Organic-solvent-tolerant bacteria Butanol Bacillus subtilis Cholesterol transformation Bacillus megaterium 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Goa College of PharmacyPanajiIndia

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