Biosurfactant production by cultivation of Bacillus atrophaeus ATCC 9372 in semidefined glucose/casein-based media

Luiz Carlos Martins das Neves, Kátia Silva de Oliveira, Márcio Junji Kobayashi, Thereza Christina Vessoni Penna, Attilio Converti
Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology 2007, 137 (1): 539-54
Biosurfactants are proteins with detergent, emulsifier, and antimicrobial actions that have potential application in environmental applications such as the treatment of organic pollutants and oil recovery. Bacillus atrophaeus strains are nonpathogenic and are suitable source of biosurfactants, among which is surfactin. The aim of this work is to establish a culture medium composition able to stimulate biosurfactants production by B. atrophaeus ATCC 9372. Batch cultivations were carried out in a rotary shaker at 150 rpm and 35 degrees C for 24 h on glucose-and/or casein-based semidefined culture media also containing sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate, and soy flour. The addition of 14.0 g/L glucose in a culture medium containing 10.0 g/L of casein resulted in 17 times higher biosurfactant production (B(max)=635.0 mg/L). Besides, the simultaneous presence of digested casein (10.0 g/L), digested soy flour (3.0 g/L), and glucose (18.0 g/L) in the medium was responsible for a diauxic effect during cell growth. Once the diauxie started, the average biosurfactants concentration was 16.8% less than that observed before this phenomenon. The capability of B. atrophaeus strain to adapt its own metabolism to use several nutrients as energy sources and to preserve high levels of biosurfactants in the medium during the stationary phase is a promising feature for its possible application in biological treatments.

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