Going Green and Cold: Biosurfactantsfrom Low-Temperature Environments to Biotechnology Applications

Ibrahim Banat, R Marchant, Amedea Perfumo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Approximately 80% of the Earth’s biosphere is cold at an average temperature of 5ºC and is populated by a diversity of microorganisms that are a precious source of molecules with high biotechnological potential. Biosurfactants from psychrophiles can interact with multiple physical phases - water, ice, hydrophobic compounds and gases - at low and freezing temperatures, and be of use in sustainable (green) and low energy-impact (cold) products and processes. In this review we provide an overview of the biodiversity of microbial biosurfactants produced in cold habitats and a perspective on the most promising future applications in environmental and industrial technologies. Finally, we encourage the search of the cryosphere for novel types of biosurfactants via both culture screening and functional metagenomics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-289
Number of pages13
JournalTrends in Biotechnology
Volume36
Issue number3
Early online date7 Feb 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

Keywords

  • biosurfactants
  • cold-active detergents
  • low temperature
  • metagenomics
  • psychrophiles

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