Current Microbiology

, Volume 56, Issue 6, pp 639–644 | Cite as

Rhamnolipid–Biosurfactant Permeabilizing Effects on Gram-Positive and Gram-Negative Bacterial Strains

  • A. V. Sotirova
  • D. I. Spasova
  • D. N. Galabova
  • E. Karpenko
  • A. Shulga


The potential of biosurfactant PS to permeabilize bacterial cells of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, and Bacillus subtilis on growing (in vivo) and resting (in vitro) cells was studied. Biosurfactant was shown to have a neutral or detrimental effect on the growth of Gram-positive strains, and this was dependent on the surfactant concentration. The growth of Gram-negative strains was not influenced by the presence of biosurfactant in the media. Cell permeabilization with biosurfactant PS was shown to be more effective with B. subtilis resting cells than with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Scanning-electron microscopy observations showed that the biosurfactant PS did not exert a disruptive action on resting cells such that it was detrimental to the effect on growing cells of B. subtilis. Low critical micelle concentrations, tender action on nongrowing cells, and neutral effects on the growth of microbial strains at low surfactant concentrations make biosurfactant PS a potential candidate for application in different industrial fields, in environmental bioremediation, and in biomedicine.


Surfactant Alginate Interfacial Tension Extracellular Protein Biosurfactants 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by Grant No. K-1206/02 from the National Council of Scientific Research at the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science and Scientific and Technological Cooperation Joint Project for Years 2005 to 2007 between the Bulgarian and Ukrainian Ministries of Education and Science.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. V. Sotirova
    • 1
  • D. I. Spasova
    • 2
  • D. N. Galabova
    • 1
  • E. Karpenko
    • 3
  • A. Shulga
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Microbial Biochemistry and Biosynthesis, The Stephan Angeloff Institute of MicrobiologyBulgarian Academy of SciencesSofiaBulgaria
  2. 2.Department of Microbial UltrastructureBulgarian Academy of SciencesSofiaBulgaria
  3. 3.Institute of Physical ChemistryUkrainian Academy of SciencesLvivUkraine

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