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:2/3/2017)... ANTONIO , Feb. 3, 2017  Texas Biomedical Research ... Dr. Larry Schlesinger as the Institute,s new ... Texas Biomed effective May 31, 2017. He is currently the ... Director of the Center for Microbial Interface Biology at Ohio ... Schlesinger as the new President and CEO of Texas Biomed," ...
(Date:2/1/2017)... IDTechEx Research, a leading provider of independent ... availability of a new report, Sensors for Robotics: Technologies, Markets ... ... ... IDTechEx Report "Sensors for Robotics: Technologies, Markets and Forecasts 2017-2027: Machine ...
(Date:1/25/2017)... The Elements of Enterprise Information Security ... of a comprehensive set of business processes and ... identities and providing a secured and documented access ... number of programs opted by enterprises to maintain ... processes and changing policies. However, there are some ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/1/2017)... and NEW YORK , ... Group (SELLAS or the Company), a late-stage biopharmaceutical ... list of cancer indications, today reported updated positive ... treatment, galinpepimut-S, in multiple myeloma (MM) patients. Consistent ... meaningful clinical benefit among high-risk MM patients, positioning ...
(Date:3/1/2017)... 2017 Illustris Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced the ... delivery technology platform.  The leadership team consists of ... Prygocki , former President of Medicis, Dr. Jacob ... , founding member of Derma-Rx and IDS Clinic and ... in Asia , and Andrew ...
(Date:3/1/2017)... Fla. , March 1, 2017  Friends, family, ... living with multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic condition affecting ... MSWorld , MS Views and News , ... the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation — have joined biotechnology ... partners through the #MySupportHero initiative. During MS Awareness Month, ...
(Date:3/1/2017)... ... March 01, 2017 , ... At interpack ... concentrating on protection, productivity and quality can help food and pharmaceutical manufacturers improve ... – from x-ray and checkweighing to vision inspection and metal detection – will ...
Breaking Biology Technology: