Trehalose lipid biosurfactants produced by the actinomycetes Tsukamurella spumae and T. pseudospumae

Johannes H. Kügler, Claudia Muhle-Goll, Boris Kühl, Axel Kraft, Raphael Heinzler, Frank Kirschhöfer, Marius Henkel, Victor Wray, Burkhard Luy, Gerald Brenner-Weiss, Siegmund Lang, Christoph Syldatk, Rudolf Hausmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Actinomycetales are known to produce various secondary metabolites including products with surface-active and emulsifying properties known as biosurfactants. In this study, the nonpathogenic actinomycetes Tsukamurella spumae and Tsukamurella pseudospumae are described as producers of extracellular trehalose lipid biosurfactants when grown on sunflower oil or its main component glyceryltrioleate. Crude extracts of the trehalose lipids were purified using silica gel chromatography. The structure of the two trehalose lipid components (TL A and TL B) was elucidated using a combination of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight/time-of-flight/tandem mass spectroscopy (MALDI-ToF-ToF/MS/MS) and multidimensional NMR experiments. The biosurfactants were identified as 1-α-glucopyranosyl-1-α-glucopyranosid carrying two acyl chains varying of C4 to C6 and C16 to C18 at the 2′ and 3′ carbon atom of one sugar unit. The trehalose lipids produced demonstrate surface-active behavior and emulsifying capacity. Classified as risk group 1 organisms, T. spumae and T. pseudospumae hold potential for the production of environmentally friendly surfactants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8905-8915
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Actinomycete
  • Bioemulsifier
  • Biosurfactant
  • Emulsifier
  • Surfactant
  • Trehalose lipid
  • Tsukamurella


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