Mikrobiol. Z. 2019; 81(2):51-64.
doi: https://doi.org/10.15407/microbiolj81.02.051

Characterization, Stability and Antimicrobial Activity of Biosurfactants Produced by
Candida Yeasts Isolated from Flowering Plants

Ianieva O.D.

Zabolotny Institute of Microbiology and Virology, NAS of Ukraine
154 Akad. Zabolotny Str., Kyiv, 03143, Ukraine

Yeasts are known to produce surface-active compounds e.g. biosurfactants including mannosylerythritol lipids, sophorolipids and other glycolipid compounds. Sugar-rich niches including nectar and flowering plants have been suggested as potential sources for biosurfactant-producing yeasts. Previously 160 yeasts strains were isolated from various flowering plants and bees Apis mellifera. Two yeasts strains preliminarily identified belonging to the genus Candida were selected as the most promising biosurfactant producers. The aim of this work was to characterize biosurfactants produced by the selected yeast strains, e.g. determine their surface properties, stability and potential antimicrobial activity against various bacterial and yeast strains. Methods. Yeast strains were identified according to phenotypic characteristics. Biosurfactants were extracted by ethyl acetate. Antimicrobial activity was determined by disc diffusion and serial dilution methods. Stability of biosurfactants was assessed by oil-spreading method under various pH, temperature, salt concentrations. Results. Two yeast strains 79a and 156a were identified as Candida gropengiesseri and Candida bombicola. Both yeast strains have been shown to produce a mixture of several glycolipids with Rf 0.15, 0.21, 0.31–0.35, 0.41–0.44, 0.5 and 0.62. The addition of hydrophobic carbon source (sunflower oil) to the medium resulted in 5-fold increase in biosurfactant production by both strains. The decrease in surface tension of the medium up to 36.0-36.6 mN/m as a result of 6 day cultivation of yeasts in SL medium was detected. Produced biosurfactants retained stability at elevated temperatures and high salt concentrations although lost their activity at alkaline pH. Biosurfactant extracts demonstrated weak antibacterial activity against gram-positive bacteria but lacked inhibitory effect against gram-negative bacteria and yeasts. Conclusions. Two yeast strains C. gropengiesseri and C. bombicola isolated from flowering plants produce glycolipid biosurfactants stable at high salinity and temperature and exhibiting weak antimicrobial activity against gram-positive bacteria. The surface activity of both strains is indicative of their potential as biosurfactant producers.

Keywords: yeasts, glycolipid biosurfactants, stability, antimicrobial activity.

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