Surfactin and Other Lipopeptides from Bacillus spp.

  • Philippe JacquesEmail author
Part of the Microbiology Monographs book series (MICROMONO, volume 20)


Isolated during 1950s and 1960s, the group of lipopeptides from Bacillus spp. gather more than 30 different peptides linked to various fatty acid chains. More than a 100 different compounds can so be described. In this chapter, they are classified into four main families: the surfactins, the iturins, the fengycins or plipastatins and the kurstakins. The biochemical mechanism responsible for their biosynthesis, which involved nonribosomal peptide synthetases, is described in detail. The complex cascade of regulation of surfactin synthetase operon and the environmental factors, which influence the lipopeptide production, are discussed. The main physico-chemical properties of these remarkable biosurfactants and their possible relationships with the biological activities are also presented. A brief overview of the molecular strategies developed to get modified lipopeptide compounds and the last bioprocesses set up for their production are given. In the last chapter, the main applications of surfactin are proposed.


Bacillus Subtilis Fatty Acid Chain Critical Micellar Concentration Domain Pair Nonribosomal Peptide 
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.



The author thanks Dr Valérie Leclère, Dr Max Bechet, Dr François Coutte, Ursula Collins and Deirdre Hallinan for their kind re-reading of the manuscript and Isabelle Schack and Damien Jacques for help in the reference list and figure preparation. ProBioGEM is supported by the Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille, the Region Nord Pas de Calais, the Ministere de la Recherche Scientifique (ANR) and the European Funds for the Regional Development.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ProBioGEM, Polytech-LilleUniv Lille Nord de France, USTLVilleneuve d’AscqFrance

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