Biodiesel byproduct bioconversion to rhamnolipids: Upstream aspects

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This study focused on two important aspects of the upstream process: the appropriate use of crude glycerol as a low-cost carbon source, and strain selection. The effect of different crude glycerol concentrations on rhamnolipid biosynthesis by two Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains (wild type LBI and mutant LBI 2A1) was studied. Finally, the synthesized rhamnolipids were characterized by mass spectrometry. When both strains were compared, 50 g/L was the most favorable concentration for both, but P. aeruginosa LBI 2A1 showed an increase in rhamnolipid production (2.55 g/L) of 192% over wild type (1.3 g/L). The higher rhamnolipid production could be related to a possible mechanism developed after the mutation process at high antibiotic concentrations. Mass spectrometry confirmed the glycolipid nature of the produced biosurfactant, and the homologue composition showed a wide mixture of mono and di-rhamnolipids. These results show that high glycerol concentrations can inhibit microbial metabolism, due to osmotic stress, leading to a better understanding of glycerol metabolism towards its optimization in fermentation media. Since P. aeruginosa LBI 2A1 showed higher conversion yields than P. aeruginosa LBI, the use of a mutant strain associated with a low cost carbon source might improve biosurfactant biosynthesis, therefore yielding an important upstream improvement.



Biotechnology, Microbiology

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Heliyon, v. 3, n. 6, p. e00337-, 2017.