Novel lipopeptide biosurfactant produced by hydrocarbon degrading and heavy metal tolerant bacterium Escherichia fergusonii KLU01 as a potential tool for bioremediation

Muthu Irulappan Sriram, Shanmugakani Gayathiri, Ulaganathan Gnanaselvi, Paulraj Stanly Jenifer, Subramanian Mohan Raj, Sangiliyandi Gurunathan
Bioresource Technology 2011, 102 (19): 9291-5
Escherichia fergusonii KLU01, a propitious bacterial strain isolated from oil contaminated soil was identified to be hydrocarbon degrading, heavy metal tolerant and a potent producer of biosurfactant using diesel oil as the sole carbon and energy source. The biosurfactant produced by the strain was characterized to be a lipopeptide. The minimum active dose and critical micelle concentration of the biosurfactant were found as 0.165±0.08 μg and 36 mg/L, respectively. In spite of being an excellent emulsifier, the biosurfactant showed an incredible stability at extremes of temperature, pH and at various concentrations of NaCl, CaCl₂ and MgCl₂. Also the bacterium manifested tolerance towards Manganese, Iron, Lead, Nickel, Copper and Zinc. The strain emerges as a new class of biosurfactant producer with potential environmental and industrial applications, especially in hydrocarbon degradation and heavy metal bioremediation.

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