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Emulsifying Activity and Stability of a Non-Toxic Bioemulsifier Synthesized by Microbacterium sp. MC3B-10

Center of Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology, Autonomous University of Campeche, Colonia Buenavista, San Francisco de Campeche 24039, Campeche, Mexico
Ifremer Laboratoire Biotechnologies et Molécules Marines, Nantes B. P. 21105, France
Department of Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute (CINVESTAV), Mexico City 07360, Federal District, Mexico
Laboratory of Molecular Ecology and Epidemiology, School of Health Sciences, Autonomous University of Baja California, Tijuana 22390, Baja California, Mexico
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(9), 18959-18972;
Received: 20 August 2013 / Revised: 3 September 2013 / Accepted: 4 September 2013 / Published: 13 September 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofilms: Extracellular Bastions of Bacteria)
PDF [318 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]


A previously reported bacterial bioemulsifier, here termed microbactan, was further analyzed to characterize its lipid component, molecular weight, ionic character and toxicity, along with its bioemulsifying potential for hydrophobic substrates at a range of temperatures, salinities and pH values. Analyses showed that microbactan is a high molecular weight (700 kDa), non-ionic molecule. Gas chromatography of the lipid fraction revealed the presence of palmitic, stearic, and oleic acids; thus microbactan may be considered a glycolipoprotein. Microbactan emulsified aromatic hydrocarbons and oils to various extents; the highest emulsification index was recorded against motor oil (96%). The stability of the microbactan-motor oil emulsion model reached its highest level (94%) at 50 °C, pH 10 and 3.5% NaCl content. It was not toxic to Artemia salina nauplii. Microbactan is, therefore, a non-toxic and non-ionic bioemulsifier of high molecular weight with affinity for a range of oily substrates. Comparative phylogenetic assessment of the 16S rDNA gene of Microbacterium sp. MC3B-10 with genes derived from other marine Microbacterium species suggested that this genus is well represented in coastal zones. The chemical nature and stability of the bioemulsifier suggest its potential application in bioremediation of marine environments and in cosmetics. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioemulsifier; emulsifying stability; non-toxic; Microbacterium sp.; biotechnology bioemulsifier; emulsifying stability; non-toxic; Microbacterium sp.; biotechnology
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Camacho-Chab, J.C.; Guézennec, J.; Chan-Bacab, M.J.; Ríos-Leal, E.; Sinquin, C.; Muñiz-Salazar, R.; De la Rosa-García, S.D.C.; Reyes-Estebanez, M.; Ortega-Morales, B.O. Emulsifying Activity and Stability of a Non-Toxic Bioemulsifier Synthesized by Microbacterium sp. MC3B-10. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 18959-18972.

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