Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 167, Issue 5, pp 1220–1234 | Cite as

Production and Characterization of Violacein by Locally Isolated Chromobacterium violaceum Grown in Agricultural Wastes

  • Wan Azlina Ahmad
  • Nur Zulaikha Yusof
  • Nordiana Nordin
  • Zainul Akmar Zakaria
  • Mohd Fazlin Rezali


The present work highlighted the production of violacein by the locally isolated Chromobacterium violaceum (GenBank accession no. HM132057) in various agricultural waste materials (sugarcane bagasse, solid pineapple waste, molasses, brown sugar), as an alternative to the conventional rich medium. The highest yield for pigment production (0.82 g L−1) was obtained using free cells when grown in 3 g of sugarcane bagasse supplemented with 10% (v/v) of l-tryptophan. A much lower yield (0.15 g L−1) was obtained when the cells were grown either in rich medium (nutrient broth) or immobilized onto sugarcane bagasse. Violacein showed similar chemical properties as other natural pigments based on the UV–Vis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, thin-layer chromatography, nuclear magnetic resonance, and mass spectrometry analysis. The pigment is highly soluble in acetone and methanol, insoluble in water or non-polar organic solvents, and showed good stability between pH 5–9, 25–100 °C, in the presence of light metal ions and oxidant such as H2O2. However, violacein would be slowly degraded upon exposure to light. This is the first report on the use of cheap and easily available agricultural wastes as growth medium for violacein-producing C. violaceum.


Chromobacterium Violacein Characterization Stability Agriculture wastes material Sugarcane bagasse 



The authors acknowledge the contribution from the Ministry of Agriculture, Malaysia for the Technofund grant (TF0310F080), the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Malaysia for the National Science Fellowship scholarship, and the Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia for the MyPhD scholarship to Nur Zulaikha Yusof and Nordiana Nordin at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wan Azlina Ahmad
    • 1
  • Nur Zulaikha Yusof
    • 1
  • Nordiana Nordin
    • 1
  • Zainul Akmar Zakaria
    • 2
  • Mohd Fazlin Rezali
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry, Faculty of ScienceUniversiti Teknologi MalaysiaJohorMalaysia
  2. 2.Institute of Bioproduct DevelopmentUniversiti Teknologi MalaysiaJohorMalaysia
  3. 3.National Metrology LaboratorySIRIM BerhadSepangMalaysia

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