Biosurfactant production by halophilic yeasts isolated from extreme environments in Botswana
PublisherOxford University Press, https://academic.oup.com/femsle
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Nine morphologically distinct halophilic yeasts were isolated from Makgadikgadi and Sua pans, as pristine and extreme environments in Botswana. Screening for biosurfactant production showed that Rhodotorula mucilaginosa SP6 and Debaryomyces hansenii MK9 exhibited the highest biosurfactant activity using Xanthocercis zambesiaca seed powder as a novel and alternative inexpensive carbon substrate. Chemical characterization of the purified biosurfactants by Fourier Transform Infra-Red spectroscopy suggested that the biosurfactant from R. mucilaginosa SP6 was a rhamnolipid-type whereas the biosurfactant from D. hansenii MK9 was a sophorolipid-type. The two biosurfactants exhibited antimicrobial activities against eight pathogenic bacteria and fungal strains (Proteus vulgaris, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, Micrococcus luteus, Cryptococcus neoformans, Candida albicans and Aspergilus niger). The sophorolopid-type biosurfactant was found to be the most potent among the antimicrobial drug resistant strains tested. The findings open up prospects for the development of environmentally friendly antimicrobial drugs that use an inexpensive source of carbon to reduce the costs associated with the production of biosurfactants.