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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

An antarctic psychrotrophic bacterium Halomonas sp. ANT-3b, growing on n-hexadecane, produces a new emulsyfying glycolipid.

A bacterial strain ANT-3b was isolated at the sea-ice seawater interface from Terra Nova Bay station, Ross Sea, Antarctica. It was isolated on mineral medium supplemented with 2% diesel fuel as a sole carbon and energy source and grown routinely on 2% n-hexadecane. Analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequence indicates that the strain has 99.8% sequence similarity with Halomonas neptunia. The strain ANT-3b was grown in mineral medium supplemented with n-hexadecane between 4 and 20 degrees C, but not at 30 degrees C. The maximum degradation rate of the n-alkane was measured at 15 degrees C, with 5.6+/-1.7 mg O2 microg(-1) protein d(-1). The strain ANT-3b produced emulsifying compounds when grown on n-hexadecane, but not on mineral medium supplemented with D-fructose. A preliminary characterisation of the emulsifier was carried out. The lipid moiety contained a mixture of fatty acids with a following composition in molar ratio: caprylic acid 18.85, myristic acid 1.0, palmitic acid 9.68, palmitoleic acid 5.69 and oleic acid 1.26. The polysaccharide moiety also contained a mixture of sugars with the following molar ratio: mannose 1.71, galactose 1.00 and glucose 2.96. The molecular weight of the glycolipid component determined by gel permeation chromatography was in the 18 kDa range and contained smaller fragments, possibly oligomeric contaminants. Transmission electron microscopy showed contact between the glycolipid secreted by the strain and n-hexadecane broken down to nanodroplets at the water interface, to form a material with mesophase (liquid crystal) organisation.[1]


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