Navigation Links
Researchers tap yeasts as source of 'green' surfactants
Date:7/28/2011

This release is available in Spanish.

Surfactants, which are wetting agents that lower a liquid's surface tension, have a long list of uses, from detergents and cosmetics to paints and pesticides. Most surfactants are petroleum-based. But in Peoria, Ill., a team of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists has focused their attention on sophorolipids, surfactant-like molecules produced by naturally occurring yeasts.

Microbiologist Cletus Kurtzman is spearheading the studies at the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR), operated in Peoria by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency.

Using phylogenetic analysis and mass-spectrometry, Kurtzman's team screened 19 of the 40 known members of the Starmerella yeast family for their ability to produce the sophorolipids.

Phylogenetics, which traces the evolutionary relationships between species or groups, was particularly useful because it enabled the team to determine which Starmerella members produce the molecules based on shared gene sequences for the trait. For example, only a few Candida yeast species had previously been shown to make the sophorolipids-most notably, C. bombicola and C. apicola.

Kurtzman's team was able to broaden its search by tapping the ARS (microbial) Culture Collection, maintained at the Peoria center's Bacterial Foodborne Pathogens and Mycology Research Unit.

In studies there, the researchers cultured the yeasts on a diet of glucose oleic acid. They then measured the yeasts' sophorolipid production levels over a 24- to 168-hour period using mass-spectrometry analysis, which can identify compounds based on their unique molecular weights.

As expected, C. bombicola and C. apicola boasted the highest sophorolipid yields. They weren't the only ones, though: The team's analysis also turned up three other high-producing yeasts, including a new Candida species.

According to Kurtzman, the findings add to a short list of candidate yeasts with potential use in fermentation-based methods of mass-producing the sophorolipids as green alternatives to petroleum-derived surfactants.

He and ARS team members Neil Price, Karen Ray and the late Tsung-Min Kuo reported their work in FEMS Microbiology Letters.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jan Suszkiw
301-504-1630
United States Department of Agriculture - Research, Education and Economics
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. NC State researchers get to root of parasite genome
2. Researchers find animal with ability to survive climate change
3. Researchers find an essential gene for forming ears of corn
4. Researchers note differences between people and animals on calorie restriction
5. Researchers study acoustic communication in deep-sea fish
6. Researchers discover that growing up too fast may mean dying young in honey bees
7. Researchers study how pistachios may improve heart health
8. UI researchers find potentially toxic substance present in Chicago air
9. Researchers develop new self-training gene prediction program for fungi
10. Case Western Reserve University researchers track Chernobyl fallout
11. Childrens National researchers develop novel anti-tumor vaccine
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/17/2017)... Florida , April 17, 2017 NXT-ID, ... technology company, announces the filing of its 2016 Annual Report on ... and Exchange Commission. ... on Form 10-K is available in the Investor Relations section of ... as on the SEC,s website at http://www.sec.gov . ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 No two ... researchers at the New York University Tandon School ... Engineering have found that partial similarities between prints ... used in mobile phones and other electronic devices ... The vulnerability lies in the fact that ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... -- KEY FINDINGS The global market for ... of 25.76% during the forecast period of 2017-2025. The ... the growth of the stem cell market. ... INSIGHTS The global stem cell market is segmented on ... stem cell market of the product is segmented into ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... A recent survey conducted ... troublesome and difficult to control weed in 12 categories of broadleaf crops, fruits and ... weed scientists across the U.S. and Canada participated in the 2016 survey, the second ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... Genedata, a leading provider of ... occasion with a strong presence at Bio-IT World Conference & Expo 2017 in ... invitation to all attendees to view posters on the entire range of ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... ... in San Diego, California, this August will feature high-level speakers on quantum ... vehicles. , SPIE Optics and Photonics, the largest multidisciplinary optical sciences meeting in ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Energetiq Technology, a world leader in high ... accommodate its rapid growth. , The renovations at the company’s headquarters in Woburn, ... areas. The expansion includes, a state-of-the-art engineering facility, and a second clean manufacturing ...
Breaking Biology Technology: