Production of Rhamnolipids by a Halotolerant Bacterial Strain with Seawater and Its Application in the Treatment of Powdery Mildew of Strawberry (Fragaria ananassa)

  • Xiangsheng Zhang
  • Boping Tang


Biosurfactants are amphipathic compounds, a kind of natural agricultural chemical, excreted by microorganisms that exhibit surface activity. Biosurfactants have advantages over their chemical counterparts in biodegradability, low toxicity, and ecological acceptability and effectiveness at extreme temperature and pH. Fermentation water and mineral salt costs are among the production costs. The seawater is usually rich in various mineral salts. Biosurfactant production with seawater and waste vegetable oil with simple facilities will lower the cost greatly. In our study, strain screening, shaking flask fermentation, and 5 L liquid fermentor fermentation were carried out consequently, and the fermentation yield reached above 10 g·L−1, confirming this kind of low-cost production is feasible and practicable. And the application of rhamnolipids in plant protection in saline soils was also conducted. The fermentation broth was diluted to 1 g·L−1 and 0.5 g·L−1 separately and was directly used to treat the downy mildew of strawberry. The results showed that the fermentation broth could be used as an efficient kind of fungicide. The pot experiments showed that control efficiency could be reached over 90.8% and 87.6%, respectively, compared to blank group, performing better than the tested dominant chemical fungicides. Furthermore, the rhamnolipids fermentation broth could also enhance the development of root and shoot of strawberry.


Seawater fermentation Halotolerant biosurfactant producer Rhamnolipids Fungicide Powdery mildew Fragaria ananassa 



This research was supported by the “333” Project of Jiangsu Province, National Spark Program (2015GA690261), and Open Project of Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Coastal Wetland Bioresources and Environmental Protection and Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Bioresources of Saline Soil.


  1. Atlas RM, Bartha R (1972) Degradation and mineralization of petroleum in sea water: limitation by nitrogen and phosphorous. Biotechnol Bioeng 14(3):309–318PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Banat IM, Makkar RS, Cameotra SS (2000) Potential commercial applications of microbial surfactants. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 53(5):495–508PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bordoloi NK, Konwar BK (2008) Microbial surfactant-enhanced mineral oil recovery under laboratory conditions. Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces 63(1):73–82. PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dubey K, Juwarkar A (2001) Distillery and curd whey wastes as viable alternative sources for biosurfactant production. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 17(1):61–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hatha A, Edward G, Rahman K (2007) Microbial biosurfactants – review. J Atmos Sci 3(2):1–17Google Scholar
  6. Henkel M, Müller MM, Kügler JH, Lovaglio RB, Contiero J, Syldatk C, Hausmann R (2012) Rhamnolipids as biosurfactants from renewable resources: concepts for next-generation rhamnolipid production. Process Biochem 47(8):1207–1219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Huang X, Chen X, Liu J, Lu L (2009) Recent progress on rhamnolipid produced from fermentation of waste edible oils. Microbiology 36(11):1738–1743 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  8. Jain RM, Mody K, Joshi N, Mishra A, Jha B (2013) Effect of unconventional carbon sources on biosurfactant production and its application in bioremediation. Int J Biol Macromol 62(11):52–58PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Jamal P, Mir S, Alam MZ, Wan NW (2014) Isolation and selection of new biosurfactant producing bacteria from degraded palm kernel cake under liquid state fermentation[J]. J Oleo Sci 63(8):795–804PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Li Y, Wu D (1993) A study of major seawater chemical constituents in part of Bohai sea. J Qingdao Univ 6(4):41–48Google Scholar
  11. Li G, Huang W, Lerner DN, Zhang X (2000) Enrichment of degrading microbes and bioremediation of petrochemical contaminants in polluted soil. Water Res 34(15):3845–3853CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Liang X, Yao B, Sha R, Zhang H, Meng Q (2009) Production of rhamnolipids by Pseudomonas aeruginosa under high salt concentration conditions. Chin Sci Pap Online 4(6):418–422 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  13. Miao L, Zhang X, Zhou C, Zhang F, Chai X (2013) Study on production of biosurfactants by seawater fermentation. J Qilu Univ Technol (Nat Sci Ed)(4):26–30 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  14. Mukherjee S, Das P, Sen R (2006) Towards commercial production of microbial surfactants. Trends Biotechnol 24(11):509–515. PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Neto DC, Meira JA, Tiburtius E, Zamora PP, Bugay C, Mitchell DA, Krieger N (2009) Production of rhamnolipids in solid-state cultivation: characterization, downstream processing and application in the cleaning of contaminated soils. Biotechnol J 4(4):748–755CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Nitschke M, Costa SG, Haddad R, G Gonçalves LA, Eberlin MN, Contiero J (2005) Oil wastes as unconventional substrates for rhamnolipid biosurfactant production by Pseudomonas aeruginosa LBI. Biotechnol Prog 21(5):1562–1566PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Noah KS, Bruhn DF, Bala GA (2005) Surfactin production from potato process effluent by Bacillus subtilis in a chemostat. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 121(124):465–473. doi:ABAB:122:1-3:0465 [pii]PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Orban E, Di Lena G, Nevigato T, Casini I, Caproni R, Santaroni G, Giulini G (2007) Nutritional and commercial quality of the striped venus clam, Chamelea gallina, from the Adriatic sea. Food Chem 101(3):1063–1070CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Pirog TP, Shevchuk TA, Shuliakova MA (2012) Glycerol metabolism in surfactants producers Acinetobacter calcaaceticus IMV B-7241 and Rhodococcus erythropolis IMV Ac-5017. Mikrobiol Z 74(4):29–36PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Ramani K, Jain SC, Mandal AB, Sekaran G (2012) Microbial induced lipoprotein biosurfactant from slaughterhouse lipid waste and its application to the removal of metal ions from aqueous solution. Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces 97:254–263. PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Raza ZA, Khan MS, Khalid ZM, Rehman A (2006) Production kinetics and tensioactive characteristics of biosurfactant from a Pseudomonas aeruginosa mutant grown on waste frying oils. Biotechnol Lett 28(20):1623–1631. PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Sarachat T, Pornsunthorntawee O, Chavadej S, Rujiravanit R (2010) Purification and concentration of a rhamnolipid biosurfactant produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa SP4 using foam fractionation. Bioresour Technol 101(1):324–330PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Shen Z, Yang HY, Yan XT, Nan FY, Guo YP, Xie HZ (2011) The application and development trends of biosurfactants in petroleum industry. Appl Chem Ind 40(10):1842–1846Google Scholar
  24. Silva MAM, Silva AF, Rufino RD, Luna JM, Santos VA, Sarubbo LA (2017) Production of biosurfactants by pseudomonas species for application in the petroleum industry. Water Environ Res 89(2):117–126PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sodagari M, Invally K, Ju L-K (2017) Maximize rhamnolipid production with low foaming and high yield. Enzym Microb TechnolGoogle Scholar
  26. We Q, Liu L, Zhan R, Wei X, Zang J (2010) Distribution features of the chemical parameters in the southern Yellow sea in summer. Period Ocean Univ China 40(1):82–88 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  27. Wu H, Wang W, Han S (2007) Research advance on rhamnolipid biosurfactants. Microbiology 34(1):148–152 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  28. Xiong J, Song W, Ye J (2007) Research advance on decrease the cost of biodiesel production. Chem Ind Eng Prog 26(6):774–776 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  29. Yao J, Min E (2010) Hazardous effects and resource utilization of waste oil. New Energy 30(5):1–6 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  30. Zhang X (2013) Enhancement of hydrocarbon degrading and biosurfactant production of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain Z41 by joint employment of low energy ion beam and ultraviolet irradiations. Res J Biotechnol 8(12):31–36Google Scholar
  31. Zhang X (2014) A pilot study on screening and simplified fermentation of a biosurfactant producing strain with seawater. Res J Biotechnol 9(3):74–79Google Scholar
  32. Zhang X, Lu D (2013) Response surface analysis of rhamnolipid production by Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain Z41 with two response values. Afr J Microbiol Res 7(22):2757–2763CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Zhang X, Xiang T (2010a) Application of physical factors in genetic improvement of biosurfactant producing strains. J Huzhou Vocat Technol Coll 8(1):1–5 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  34. Zhang X, Xiang T (2010b) Genetic modification of MEOR bacterium bacillus licheniformis H strain by low energy ion beam irradiation. Open Biotechnol J 4:14–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Zhang X, Xu D, Yang G, Zhang H, Li J, Shim H (2012a) Isolation and characterization of rhamnolipid producing Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains from waste edible oils. Afr J Microbiol Res 6(7):1466–1471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Zhang X, Xu D, Zhu C, Lundaa T, Scherr KE (2012b) Isolation and identification of biosurfactant producing and crude oil degrading Pseudomonas Aeruginosa strains. Chem Eng J 209:138–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Zhao X, Jiang B (2004) Brief review on MEOR technology. Pet Sci 1(4):17–23Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiangsheng Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Boping Tang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Bioresources of Saline Soil & Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Coastal Wetland Bioresources and Environmental ProtectionYancheng Teachers UniversityYanchengChina
  2. 2.Jiangsu Coastal Biological Agriculture Synthetic Innovation CenterYancheng Teachers UniversityYanchengChina

Personalised recommendations