Valorization of xylose-rich hydrolysate from rice straw, an agroresidue, through biosurfactant production by the soil bacterium Serratia nematodiphila
Panjiar, N.; Mattam, A.Jose.; Jose, S.; Gandham, S.; Velankar, H.Ravindra.
Science of the Total Environment 729: 138933
ISSN/ISBN: 0048-9697 PMID: 32371209 DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.138933
Biosurfactants, amphiphilic compounds that reduce interfacial tension in oil-aqueous mixtures, are used in the petroleum, pharmaceutical, food, and agriculture industries. Fermentative production of biosurfactants requires expensive sugar or lipid substrates. Lignocellulosic biomass is a relatively cheap and abundant agricultural residue that can be used as an alternative substrate. Currently, several million tonnes of rice and wheat straw are generated globally as agricultural residues, most of which is disposed by open-field burning thereby leading to severe environmental pollution. This study aimed to produce biosurfactants in xylose-rich hydrolysates generated from rice straw. The hydrolysate is also a byproduct of 2G biofuel processes that often goes underutilized. A soil bacterium capable of growing and producing biosurfactants in rice straw hydrolysates, which typically contain growth-inhibitory compounds such as furfural and hydroxymethyl furfural, was isolated. Interestingly, the organism, identified as Serratia nematodiphila, exhibited higher glycolipid formation (4.5 ± 0.6 gL-1) in xylose-rich hydrolysate than in glucose-rich enzymatic hydrolysate (3.1 ± 0.2 gL-1) despite the higher bacterial cell density observed with the latter. The biosurfactants were thermostable and possessed promising emulsifying property and anti-microbial activity against bacteria and yeast. Further optimization of C:N resulted in a 2.8-fold increase in glycolipid production from xylose-rich hydrolysates. This study demonstrates the production of glycolipid biosurfactants from lignocellulosic biomass, a low-cost substrate and offers a plausible strategy for the management of these residues. Further, it also provides insights into the generation of additional high-value compounds in a bioethanol biorefinery to improve its commercial feasibility.