3 Biotech

, 9:374 | Cite as

A new strategy for the efficient production of pyocyanin, a versatile pigment, in Pseudomonas aeruginosa OG1 via toluene addition

  • Murat OzdalEmail author
Original Article


Pseudomonas aeruginosa produce pyocyanin, which is an extracellular secondary metabolite and multifunctional pigment. In this study, the effects of several surfactants (Tween 20, Tween 80 and Triton X-100) and organic solvents (toluene and chloroform) on pyocyanin production and cell growth were investigated in submerged culture of P. aeruginosa OG1. Organic solvents were found to be more effective in the production of pyocyanin. The maximum production of pyocyanin (33 mg/L) was achieved when 0.2% toluene was added at the stationary growth phase (30 h), corresponding to significant increase of 312% compared with the control (8 mg/L). With the addition of toluene, pyocyanin production was significantly increased, but bacterial biomass reduced. Production of alkaline protease was also affected by toluene addition. It was found that the ratio of saturated/unsaturated fatty acids in the bacterial biomass significantly increased when toluene addition to the medium. This study revealed that with a novel strategy, the addition of toluene to the fermentation medium significantly increased pyocyanin production. These findings suggest that solvent-assisted fermentation strategy can be used in microbial fermentations to increase the production of biotechnological products such as industrially important pigment and enzyme. This study is a first investigation on the stimulation of pyocyanin release in the medium of P. aeruginosa cultures by the addition of toluene.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa Pyocyanin Toluene Cell growth Fatty acids Alkaline protease 



The financial support by Department of Biology, Ataturk University, is gratefully acknowledged.

Author contributions

All the experiments were designed and executed by MO.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology, Science FacultyAtaturk UniversityErzurumTurkey

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