Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 54, Issue 5, pp 625–633 | Cite as

Pseudomonas aeruginosa rhamnolipids: biosynthesis and potential applications

  • R. M. Maier
  • G. Soberón-Chávez


Pseudomonas aeruginosa produces and secretes rhamnose-containing glycolipid biosurfactants called rhamnolipids. This review describes rhamnolipid biosynthesis and potential industrial and environmental applications of rhamnolipids. Rhamnolipid production is dependent on central metabolic pathways, such as fatty acid synthesis and dTDP-activated sugars, as well as on enzymes participating in the production of the exopolysaccharide alginate. Synthesis of these surfactants is regulated by a very complex genetic regulatory system that also controls different P. aeruginosa virulence-associated traits. Rhamnolipids have several potential industrial and environmental applications including the production of fine chemicals, the characterization of surfaces and surface coatings, as additives for environmental remediation, and as a biological control agent. Realization of this wide variety of applications requires economical commercial-scale production of rhamnolipids.


Surfactant Alginate Biological Control Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Acid Synthesis 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. M. Maier
    • 2
  • G. Soberón-Chávez
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Microbiología Molecular, Instituto de Biotecnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Apdo. Postal 510-3, Cuernavaca, Mor. 62250, México e-mail: Tel.: +52-7-3291634 Fax: +52-7-3172388MX
  2. 2.Department of Soil and Water Science, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USAUS

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