Alternative methodology for isolation of biosurfactant-producing bacteria

N Krepsky, F S Da Silva, L F Fontana, M A C Crapez
Brazilian Journal of Biology, Revista Brasleira de Biologia 2007, 67 (1): 117-24
Wide biosurfactant application on biorremediation is limited by its high production cost. The search for cheaper biossurfactant production alternatives has guided our study. The use of selective media containing sucrose (10 g x L(-1)) and Arabian Light oil (2 g x L(-1)) as carbon sources showed to be effective to screen and maintain biosurfactant-producing consortia isolated from mangrove hydrocarbon-contaminated sediment. The biosurfactant production was assayed by kerosene, gasoline and Arabian Light Emulsification activity and the bacterial growth curve was determined by bacterial quantification. The parameters analyzed for biosurfactant production were the growth curve, salinity concentration, flask shape and oxygenation. All bacteria consortia screened were able to emulsify the petroleum derivatives tested. Biosurfactant production increased according to the incubation time; however the type of emulsification (non-aqueous phase or aqueous phase) did not change with time but with the compound tested. The methodology was able to isolate biosurfactant-producing consortia from superficial mangrove sediment contaminated by petroleum hydrocarbons and was recommended for selection of biosurfactant producing bacteria in tropical countries with low financial resources.

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