Mass spectrometry monitoring of rhamnolipids from a growing culture of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain 57RP

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2000 May 31;1485(2-3):145-52. doi: 10.1016/s1388-1981(00)00039-1.


Two rapid and simple methods for the characterisation and quantification of rhamnolipids produced by a growing culture of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain 57RP were developed. Two rhamnolipids were purified and their response factors determined. The various rhamnolipids produced were then measured using liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. The culture supernatants were injected directly, without prior purification, in a HPLC equipped with a C(18) reverse-phase column. The complete profile of rhamnolipid congeners produced during a 2 week cultivation period was monitored. In order to shorten the analysis time, another method was developed which did not require chromatographic separation of the rhamnolipids prior to their detection. Quantification of rhamnolipids using the direct infusion method gave results very similar to those obtained with HPLC separation. These two methods were very well correlated with the standard colorimetric orcinol method. The rhamnolipid profiles obtained show that the various rhamnolipid congeners are secreted simultaneously, and that their relative proportion remained unchanged throughout the cultivation period.

MeSH terms

  • Glycolipids / analysis*
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / chemistry*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / growth & development


  • Glycolipids
  • rhamnolipid hemolysin, Pseudomonas aeruginosa