Surface-active novel glycolipid and linked 3-hydroxy fatty acids produced by Serratia rubidaea

J Bacteriol. 1990 Jun;172(6):3015-22. doi: 10.1128/jb.172.6.3015-3022.1990.


A Serratia rubidaea isolate with wetting activity when grown at 30 but not 37 degrees C was examined for the production of specific lipids. Two novel lipids (rubiwettins R1 and RG1) were isolated and shown to be able to lower the surface tension of saline to 26 mN/m. These lipids were located in extracellular vesicles found in a 30 degrees C culture of S. rubidaea. Chemical structures of these biosurfactants were determined by degradation product analyses, infrared spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Rubiwettin R1 was proposed to be a mixture of 3-(3'-hydroxytetradecanoyloxy)decanoate, 3-(3'-hydroxyhexadecenoyloxy)decanoate, and minor molecular isomers. The structure of rubiwettin RG1 was proposed to be beta-D-glucopyranosyl 3-(3'-hydroxytetradecanoyloxy)decanoate. The importance of such surface-active exolipids in bacterial occupancy on surfaces was suggested.

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, Thin Layer
  • Fatty Acids / analysis*
  • Glycolipids / analysis*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Serratia / analysis*
  • Serratia / growth & development
  • Surface-Active Agents / analysis*


  • Fatty Acids
  • Glycolipids
  • Surface-Active Agents
  • rubiwettin R1
  • rubiwettin RG1