Production of rhamnolipids by Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2005 Oct;68(6):718-25. doi: 10.1007/s00253-005-0150-3. Epub 2005 Oct 13.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa produces glycolipidic surface-active molecules (rhamnolipids) which have potential biotechnological applications. Rhamnolipids are produced by P. aeruginosa in a concerted manner with different virulence-associated traits. Here, we review the rhamnolipids biosynthetic pathway, showing that it has metabolic links with numerous bacterial products such as alginate, lipopolysaccharide, polyhydroxyalkanoates, and 4-hydroxy-2-alkylquinolines (HAQs). We also discuss the factors controlling the production of rhamnolipids and the proposed roles this biosurfactant plays in P. aeruginosa lifestyle.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Biotechnology / methods
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Glycolipids / biosynthesis*
  • Glycolipids / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Pseudomonas Infections / microbiology
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / genetics
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / metabolism*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / pathogenicity
  • Virulence


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Glycolipids
  • rhamnolipid