Antibacterial, anti-adherent and cytotoxic activities of surfactin(s) from a lipolytic strain Bacillus safensis F4

  • Faten Abdelli
  • Marwa Jardak
  • Jihene Elloumi
  • Didier Stien
  • Slim Cherif
  • Sami Mnif
  • Sami AifaEmail author
Original Paper


The bacterial strain F4, isolated from olive oil-contaminated soil, has been found to produce biosurfactants as confirmed by oil displacement test and the emulsification index results. The identification of the strain F4, by 16S ribosomal RNA gene, showed a close similarity to Bacillus safensis, therefore the strain has been termed Bacillus safensis F4. The Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) and the High Pressure Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (HPLC–MS/MS) demonstrated that the biosurfactant had a lipopeptide structure and was classified as surfactin. The present study showed also that the produced biosurfactant has an important antibacterial activity against several pathogen strains as monitored with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) micro-assays. In particular, it presented an interesting anti-planktonic activity with a MIC of 6.25 mg mL−1 and anti-adhesive activity which exceeded 80% against the biofilm-forming Staphylococcus epidermidis S61 strain. Moreover, the produced lipopeptide showed an antitumor activity against T47D breast cancer cells and B16F10 mouse melanoma cells with IC50 of 0.66 mg mL−1 and 1.17 mg mL−1, respectively. Thus, our results demonstrated that Bacillus safensis F4 biosurfactant exhibited a polyvalent activity via a considerable antibiofilm and antitumoral potencies.


Anti-adherent Anti-cancer Biosurfactant Bacillus safensis F4 Surfactin(s) 



The authors are grateful to Dr. Dorra Driss for her valuable critical reading of the manuscript. This work was funded by the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Faten Abdelli
    • 1
  • Marwa Jardak
    • 1
  • Jihene Elloumi
    • 1
  • Didier Stien
    • 2
  • Slim Cherif
    • 3
  • Sami Mnif
    • 1
  • Sami Aifa
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Screening Processes, Centre of Biotechnology of SfaxUniversity of SfaxSfaxTunisia
  2. 2.UPMC UNIV PARIS 06, CNRS, Laboratoire de Biodiversité et Biotechnologies Microbiennes (LBBM)Sorbonne Universities, Observatoire OceanologiqueBanyuls-Sur-MerFrance
  3. 3.Faculty of Sciences, GafsaUniversity of GafsaGafsaTunisia

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