Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 48–52

Production of biosurfactant at mesophilic and thermophilic conditions by a strain of Bacillus subtilis


  • R S Makkar
    • Institute of Microbial Technology, Sector 39-A, Chandigarh-160036, India
  • S S Cameotra
    • Institute of Microbial Technology, Sector 39-A, Chandigarh-160036, India

DOI: 10.1038/sj.jim.2900474

Cite this article as:
Makkar, R. & Cameotra, S. J Ind Microbiol Biotech (1998) 20: 48. doi:10.1038/sj.jim.2900474

The ability of a Bacillus subtilis strain to grow and produce biosurfactant on different carbon and nitrogen sources under thermophilic conditions (45°C) was studied. The strain was able to reduce surface tension to 34 dynes cm−1 on 2% sucrose, and 32 dynes cm−1 on starch after 96 h of growth. The biosurfactant was stable at 100°C and within a wide pH range (3.0–11.0). Biosurfactant formation at mesophilic conditions (30°C) was also studied. The organism was able to produce the maximum amount of biosurfactant when nitrate ions were supplied as the nitrogen source. The potential application of the biosurfactant in oil recovery from desert oil fields, acidic and alkaline environments is demonstrated. The biosurfactant was identical to surfactin as confirmed by TLC and IR analysis.

Keywords: biosurfactant; thermophilic; Bacillus subtilis

Copyright information

© Society for Industrial Microbiology 1998