Surface-active compounds from microorganisms

Biotechnology (N Y). 1992 Jan;10(1):60-5. doi: 10.1038/nbt0192-60.


Microbial surfactants are a structurally diverse group of compounds consisting of hydrophilic and hydrophobic domains and which partition preferentially at interfaces. Biosurfactants are of increasing interest commercially as substitutes for synthetic surfactants particularly for environmental applications. This article discusses recent progress in the genetic and biochemical analysis of biosurfactant synthesis as well as the current status of fermentation technologies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Biotechnology
  • Fermentation
  • Surface-Active Agents* / isolation & purification


  • Surface-Active Agents