Chapter

Biosurfactants

Volume 672 of the series Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology pp 1-13

Screening Concepts for the Isolation of Biosurfactant Producing Microorganisms

  • Vanessa WalterAffiliated withWalter—Institute of Engineering in Life Sciences, Department of Technical Biology, University of Karlsruhe Email author 
  • , Christoph SyldatkAffiliated withInstitute of Engineering in Life Sciences Department Technical Biology, University of Karlsruhe
  • , Rudolf HausmannAffiliated withInstitute of Engineering in Life Sciences Department Technical Biology, University of Karlsruhe

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Abstract

This chapter gives an overview of current methods for the isolation of biosurfactant producing microbes. The common screening methods for biosurfactants are presented.

Sampling and isolation of bacteria are the basis for screening of biosurfactant producing microbes. Hydrocarbon-contaminated sites are the most promising for the isolation of biosurfactant producing microbes, but many strains have also been isolated from undisturbed sites.

In subsequent steps the isolates have to be characterized in order to identify the strains which are interesting for a further investigation. Several techniques have been developed for identifying biosurfactant producing strains. Most of them are directly based on the surface or interfacial activity of the culture supernatant. Apart from that, some screening methods explore the hydrophobicity of the cell surface. This trait also gives an indication on biosurfactant production.

In recent years automation and miniaturization have led to the development of high throughput methods for screening. High throughput screening (HTS) for analyzing large amounts of potential candidates or whole culture collections is reflected in the end. However, no new principals have been introduced by HTS methods.