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Microbial Biosurfactants, Current Research Trends and Applications

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Informatics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2020) | Viewed by 30226

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Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Sciences, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Naples, Italy
Interests: fungal proteins; proteic biosurfactants; surface modification; hydrophobins; functional amyloids
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Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Naples “Federico II”, Via Cintia 4, I-80126 Naples, Italy
Interests: protein recombinant expression; biosensing; protein immobilization, fungal laccase
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colloeagues,

Biosurfactants can be defined as the surface-active biomolecules produced by microorganisms. The coexistence of hydrophilic and hydrophobic domains in the same molecule, renders them able to (i) reach interfaces, (ii) lower interfacial tension and (iii) form micelle. Biosurfactants are produced by several variety of bacteria and few fungi and are categorized by their molecular weight. There are low molecular weight molecules as glycolipids, lipo-peptides, fatty acids, phospholipids and high molecular consisting in polymers and proteins.

With the respect to the chemical surfactants, biosurfactants display lower toxicity, higher biodegradability, better environmental compatibility. Due to their unique functional properties, biosurfactants can be used as emulsifiers, wetting agents, foaming agents, spreading agents, functional food ingredients and detergents in several industries including agrochemicals, fertilizers, foods, beverages, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and many others.

The aim of this Special Issue is to focus on some of the most recent and interesting aspects of the research about biosurfactants and on their multifaceted applications.

Prof. Paola Giardina
Dr. Alessandra Piscitelli
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Tensioactive molecules
  • Surface adhesion
  • Antimicrobial activity
  • Antibiofilm activity
  • Emulsions
  • Drug delivery

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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18 pages, 3345 KiB  
Article
Molecular Network and Culture Media Variation Reveal a Complex Metabolic Profile in Pantoea cf. eucrina D2 Associated with an Acidified Marine Sponge
by Giovanni Andrea Vitale, Martina Sciarretta, Chiara Cassiano, Carmine Buonocore, Carmen Festa, Valerio Mazzella, Laura Núñez Pons, Maria Valeria D’Auria and Donatella de Pascale
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6307; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176307 - 31 Aug 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3016
Abstract
The Gram-negative Pantoea eucrina D2 was isolated from the marine sponge Chondrosia reniformis. Sponges were collected in a shallow volcanic vents system in Ischia island (South Italy), influenced by CO2 emissions and lowered pH. The chemical diversity of the secondary metabolites [...] Read more.
The Gram-negative Pantoea eucrina D2 was isolated from the marine sponge Chondrosia reniformis. Sponges were collected in a shallow volcanic vents system in Ischia island (South Italy), influenced by CO2 emissions and lowered pH. The chemical diversity of the secondary metabolites produced by this strain, under different culture conditions, was explored by a combined approach including molecular networking, pure compound isolation and NMR spectroscopy. The metabolome of Pantoea cf. eucrina D2 yielded a very complex molecular network, allowing the annotation of several metabolites, among them two biosurfactant clusters: lipoamino acids and surfactins. The production of each class of metabolites was highly dependent on the culture conditions, in particular, the production of unusual surfactins derivatives was reported for the first time from this genus; interestingly the production of these metabolites only arises by utilizing inorganic nitrogen as a sole nitrogen source. Major components of the extract obtained under standard medium culture conditions were isolated and identified as N-lipoamino acids by a combination of 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopy and HRESI-MS analysis. Assessment of the antimicrobial activity of the pure compounds towards some human pathogens, indicated a moderate activity of leucine containing N-lipoamino acids towards Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis and a clinical isolate of the emerging food pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Biosurfactants, Current Research Trends and Applications)
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21 pages, 1267 KiB  
Article
Production of Lipopeptide Biosurfactant by a Hydrocarbon-Degrading Antarctic Rhodococcus
by Syahir Habib, Siti Aqlima Ahmad, Wan Lutfi Wan Johari, Mohd Yunus Abd Shukor, Siti Aisyah Alias, Jerzy Smykla, Nurul Hani Saruni, Nur Syafiqah Abdul Razak and Nur Adeela Yasid
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6138; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176138 - 26 Aug 2020
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 3495
Abstract
Rhodococci are renowned for their great metabolic repertoire partly because of their numerous putative pathways for large number of specialized metabolites such as biosurfactant. Screening and genome-based assessment for the capacity to produce surface-active molecules was conducted on Rhodococcus sp. ADL36, a diesel-degrading [...] Read more.
Rhodococci are renowned for their great metabolic repertoire partly because of their numerous putative pathways for large number of specialized metabolites such as biosurfactant. Screening and genome-based assessment for the capacity to produce surface-active molecules was conducted on Rhodococcus sp. ADL36, a diesel-degrading Antarctic bacterium. The strain showed a positive bacterial adhesion to hydrocarbon (BATH) assay, drop collapse test, oil displacement activity, microplate assay, maximal emulsification index at 45% and ability to reduce water surface tension to < 30 mN/m. The evaluation of the cell-free supernatant demonstrated its high stability across the temperature, pH and salinity gradient although no correlation was found between the surface and emulsification activity. Based on the positive relationship between the assessment of macromolecules content and infrared analysis, the extracted biosurfactant synthesized was classified as a lipopeptide. Prediction of the secondary metabolites in the non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) clusters suggested the likelihood of the surface-active lipopeptide production in the strain’s genomic data. This is the third report of surface-active lipopeptide producers from this phylotype and the first from the polar region. The lipopeptide synthesized by ADL36 has the prospect to be an Antarctic remediation tool while furnishing a distinctive natural product for biotechnological application and research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Biosurfactants, Current Research Trends and Applications)
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15 pages, 3052 KiB  
Article
Surfactin as a Green Agent Controlling the Growth of Porous Calcite Microstructures
by Anna Bastrzyk, Marta Fiedot-Toboła, Halina Maniak, Izabela Polowczyk and Grażyna Płaza
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5526; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155526 - 1 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2787
Abstract
This study presents a new, simple way to obtain mesoporous calcite structures via a green method using an eco-friendly surface-active compound, surfactin, as a controlling agent. The effects of synthesis time and surfactin concentration were investigated. The obtained structures were characterized by X-ray [...] Read more.
This study presents a new, simple way to obtain mesoporous calcite structures via a green method using an eco-friendly surface-active compound, surfactin, as a controlling agent. The effects of synthesis time and surfactin concentration were investigated. The obtained structures were characterized by X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) coupled with gas mass spectrometry (QMS) analysis. The experimental data showed that surfactin molecules significantly changed the morphology of the calcite crystals, roughening and deforming the surface and creating a greater specific surface area, even at low biosurfactant concentrations (10 ppm). The size of the crystals was reduced, and the zeta potential value of calcium carbonate was more negative when more biosurfactant was added. The XRD data revealed that the biomolecules were incorporated into the crystals and slowed the transformation of vaterite into calcite. It has been shown that as long as vaterite is present in the medium, the calcite surface will be less deformed. The strong influence of surfactin molecules on the crystal growth of calcium carbonate was due to the interaction of surfactin molecules with free calcium ions in the solution as well as the biomolecules adsorption at the formed crystal surface. The role of micelles in crystal growth was examined, and the mechanism of mesoporous calcium carbonate formation was presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Biosurfactants, Current Research Trends and Applications)
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12 pages, 1810 KiB  
Article
Cerato-Platanins from Marine Fungi as Effective Protein Biosurfactants and Bioemulsifiers
by Rossana Pitocchi, Paola Cicatiello, Leila Birolo, Alessandra Piscitelli, Elena Bovio, Giovanna Cristina Varese and Paola Giardina
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(8), 2913; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21082913 - 21 Apr 2020
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 2860
Abstract
Two fungal strains, Aspergillus terreus MUT 271 and Trichoderma harzianum MUT 290, isolated from a Mediterranean marine site chronically pervaded by oil spills, can use crude oil as sole carbon source. Herein, these strains were investigated as producers of biosurfactants, apt to solubilize [...] Read more.
Two fungal strains, Aspergillus terreus MUT 271 and Trichoderma harzianum MUT 290, isolated from a Mediterranean marine site chronically pervaded by oil spills, can use crude oil as sole carbon source. Herein, these strains were investigated as producers of biosurfactants, apt to solubilize organic molecules as a preliminary step to metabolize them. Both fungi secreted low molecular weight proteins identified as cerato-platanins, small, conserved, hydrophobic proteins, included among the fungal surface-active proteins. Both proteins were able to stabilize emulsions, and their capacity was comparable to that of other biosurfactant proteins and to commercially available surfactants. Moreover, the cerato-platanin from T. harzianum was able to lower the surface tension value to a larger extent than the similar protein from A. terreus and other amphiphilic proteins from fungi. Both cerato-platanins were able to make hydrophilic a hydrophobic surface, such as hydrophobins, and to form a stable layer, not removable even after surface washing. To the best of our knowledge, the ability of cerato-platanins to work both as biosurfactant and bioemulsifier is herein demonstrated for the first time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Biosurfactants, Current Research Trends and Applications)
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Review

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15 pages, 516 KiB  
Review
Immunomodulatory Role of Microbial Surfactants, with Special Emphasis on Fish
by Sib Sankar Giri, Hyoun Joong Kim, Sang Guen Kim, Sang Wha Kim, Jun Kwon, Sung Bin Lee and Se Chang Park
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(19), 7004; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21197004 - 23 Sep 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2763
Abstract
Microbial surfactants (biosurfactants) are a broad category of surface-active biomolecules with multifunctional properties. They self-assemble in aqueous solutions and are adsorbed on various interfaces, causing a decrease in surface tension, as well as interfacial tension, solubilization of hydrophobic compounds, and low critical micellization [...] Read more.
Microbial surfactants (biosurfactants) are a broad category of surface-active biomolecules with multifunctional properties. They self-assemble in aqueous solutions and are adsorbed on various interfaces, causing a decrease in surface tension, as well as interfacial tension, solubilization of hydrophobic compounds, and low critical micellization concentrations. Microbial biosurfactants have been investigated and applied in several fields, including bioremediation, biodegradation, food industry, and cosmetics. Biosurfactants also exhibit anti-microbial, anti-biofilm, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, wound healing, and immunomodulatory activities. Recently, it has been reported that biosurfactants can increase the immune responses and disease resistance of fish. Among various microbial surfactants, lipopeptides, glycolipids, and phospholipids are predominantly investigated. This review presents the various immunological activities of biosurfactants, mainly glycolipids and lipopeptides. The applications of biosurfactants in aquaculture, as well as their immunomodulatory activities, that make them novel therapeutic candidates have been also discussed in this review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Biosurfactants, Current Research Trends and Applications)
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11 pages, 1137 KiB  
Review
Biosurfactants: Eco-Friendly and Innovative Biocides against Biocorrosion
by Grażyna Płaza and Varenyam Achal
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(6), 2152; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21062152 - 20 Mar 2020
Cited by 76 | Viewed by 6847
Abstract
Corrosion influenced by microbes, commonly known as microbiologically induced corrosion (MIC), is associated with biofilm, which has been one of the problems in the industry. The damages of industrial equipment or infrastructures due to corrosion lead to large economic and environmental problems. Synthetic [...] Read more.
Corrosion influenced by microbes, commonly known as microbiologically induced corrosion (MIC), is associated with biofilm, which has been one of the problems in the industry. The damages of industrial equipment or infrastructures due to corrosion lead to large economic and environmental problems. Synthetic chemical biocides are now commonly used to prevent corrosion, but most of them are not effective against the biofilms, and they are toxic and not degradable. Biocides easily kill corrosive bacteria, which are as the planktonic and sessile population, but they are not effective against biofilm. New antimicrobial and eco-friendly substances are now being developed. Biosurfactants are proved to be one of the best eco-friendly anticorrosion substances to inhibit the biocorrosion process and protect materials against corrosion. Biosurfactants have recently became one of the important products of bioeconomy with multiplying applications, while there is scare knowledge on their using in biocorrosion treatment. In this review, the recent findings on the application of biosurfactants as eco-friendly and innovative biocides against biocorrosion are highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Biosurfactants, Current Research Trends and Applications)
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31 pages, 2294 KiB  
Review
Cationic Surfactants: Self-Assembly, Structure-Activity Correlation and Their Biological Applications
by Lucia Ya. Zakharova, Tatiana N. Pashirova, Slavomira Doktorovova, Ana R. Fernandes, Elena Sanchez-Lopez, Amélia M. Silva, Selma B. Souto and Eliana B. Souto
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(22), 5534; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20225534 - 6 Nov 2019
Cited by 90 | Viewed by 7885
Abstract
The development of biotechnological protocols based on cationic surfactants is a modern trend focusing on the fabrication of antimicrobial and bioimaging agents, supramolecular catalysts, stabilizers of nanoparticles, and especially drug and gene nanocarriers. The main emphasis given to the design of novel ecologically [...] Read more.
The development of biotechnological protocols based on cationic surfactants is a modern trend focusing on the fabrication of antimicrobial and bioimaging agents, supramolecular catalysts, stabilizers of nanoparticles, and especially drug and gene nanocarriers. The main emphasis given to the design of novel ecologically friendly and biocompatible cationic surfactants makes it possible to avoid the drawbacks of nanoformulations preventing their entry to clinical trials. To solve the problem of toxicity various ways are proposed, including the use of mixed composition with nontoxic nonionic surfactants and/or hydrotropic agents, design of amphiphilic compounds bearing natural or cleavable fragments. Essential advantages of cationic surfactants are the structural diversity of their head groups allowing of chemical modification and introduction of desirable moiety to answer the green chemistry criteria. The latter can be exemplified by the design of novel families of ecological friendly cleavable surfactants, with improved biodegradability, amphiphiles with natural fragments, and geminis with low aggregation threshold. Importantly, the development of amphiphilic nanocarriers for drug delivery allows understanding the correlation between the chemical structure of surfactants, their aggregation behavior, and their functional activity. This review focuses on several aspects related to the synthesis of innovative cationic surfactants and their broad biological applications including antimicrobial activity, solubilization of hydrophobic drugs, complexation with DNA, and catalytic effect toward important biochemical reaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Biosurfactants, Current Research Trends and Applications)
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