Predicting the minimum liquid surface tension activity of pseudomonads expressing biosurfactants

I. U. Mohammed, Yusuf Y. Deeni, Simona M. Hapca, Kimberley McLaughlin, Andrew J. Spiers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Bacteria produce a variety of biosurfactants capable of significantly reducing liquid (aqueous) surface tension (γ) with a range of biological roles and biotechnological uses. In order to determine the lowest achievable surface tension (γMin), we tested a diverse collection of Pseudomonas-like isolates from contaminated soil and activated sludge, and identified those expressing biosurfactants by drop-collapse assay. Liquid surface tension reducing ability was quantitatively determined by tensiometry, with 57 isolates found to significantly lower culture supernatant surface tensions to 24.5 – 49.1 mN m−1. Differences in biosurfactant behaviour determined by foaming, emulsion and oil-displacement assays, was also observed amongst isolates producing surface tensions of 25 – 27 mN m−1, suggesting that a range of structurally-diverse biosurfactants were being expressed. Individual distribution identification (IDI) analysis was used to identify the theoretical probability distribution that best fitted the surface tension data, which predicted a γMin of 24.24 mN m−1. This was in agreement with predictions based on earlier work of published mixed–bacterial spp. data, suggesting a fundamental limit to the ability of bacterial biosurfactants to reduce surface tensions in aqueous systems. This implies a biological restriction on the synthesis and export of these agents or a physical-chemical restriction on their functioning once produced.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37–43
Number of pages7
JournalLetters in Applied Microbiology
Volume60
Issue number1
Early online date24 Sep 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015

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Surface Tension
Sewage
Pseudomonas
Emulsions
Oils
Soil
Bacteria

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Mohammed, I. U. ; Deeni, Yusuf Y. ; Hapca, Simona M. ; McLaughlin, Kimberley ; Spiers, Andrew J. / Predicting the minimum liquid surface tension activity of pseudomonads expressing biosurfactants. In: Letters in Applied Microbiology. 2015 ; Vol. 60, No. 1. pp. 37–43.
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Predicting the minimum liquid surface tension activity of pseudomonads expressing biosurfactants. / Mohammed, I. U.; Deeni, Yusuf Y.; Hapca, Simona M.; McLaughlin, Kimberley; Spiers, Andrew J.

In: Letters in Applied Microbiology, Vol. 60, No. 1, 01.2015, p. 37–43.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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