Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 98, Issue 23, pp 9623–9632 | Cite as

Evaluation of different Bacillus strains in respect of their ability to produce Surfactin in a model fermentation process with integrated foam fractionation

  • Judit Willenbacher
  • Michaela Zwick
  • Teresa Mohr
  • Ferdinand Schmid
  • Christoph Syldatk
  • Rudolf Hausmann
Biotechnological products and process engineering


Biosurfactants increasingly gain attention due to the manifold of possible applications and production on the basis of renewable resources. Owing to its various characteristics, Surfactin is one of the most studied biosurfactants. Since its discovery, several Surfactin producers have been identified, but their capacity to produce Surfactin has not been evaluated in a comparison. Six different Bacillus strains were analyzed regarding their ability to produce Surfactin in model fermentations with integrated foam fractionation, for in situ product enrichment and removal. Three of the investigated strains are commonly used in Surfactin production (ATCC 21332, DSM 3256, DSM 3258), whereas two Bacillus strains are described for the first time (DSM 1090, LM43a50°C) as Surfactin producers. Additionally, the Bacillus subtilis type strain DSM 10T was included in the evaluation. Interestingly, all strains, except DSM 3256, featured high values for Surfactin recovered from foam in comparison to other studies, ranging between 0.4 and 1.05 g. The fermentation process was characterized by calculating procedural parameters like substrate yield Y X/S, product yield Y P/X, specific growth rate μ, specific productivity q Surfactin, volumetric productivity q Surfactin, Surfactin and bacterial enrichment as well as Surfactin recovery. The strains differ most in specific and volumetric productivity; nevertheless, it is evident that it is not possible to name a Bacillus strain that is the most appropriate for the production of Surfactin under these conditions. In contrast, it becomes apparent that the choice of a specific strain should depend on the applied fermentation conditions.


Surfactin Fermentation Bacillus subtilis Foam fractionation 



The authors would like to thank Dr. Ralph Lovis for his research contribution. During his work at the Institute of Process Engineering in Life Sciences at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), he isolated the Bacillus strain LM43a50°C, which was later rediscovered and used in the current study.

Supplementary material

253_2014_6010_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (281 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 280 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judit Willenbacher
    • 1
  • Michaela Zwick
    • 1
  • Teresa Mohr
    • 1
  • Ferdinand Schmid
    • 1
  • Christoph Syldatk
    • 1
  • Rudolf Hausmann
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Process Engineering in Life Sciences, Section II: Technical BiologyKarlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)KarlsruheGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Food Science and Biotechnology (150), Section Bioprocess Engineering (150k)University of HohenheimStuttgartGermany

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