The present study focused on developing a wild-type actinomycete isolate as a model for a non-pathogenic filamentous producer of biosurfactants. A total of 33 actinomycetes isolates were screened and their extracellular biosurfactants production was evaluated using olive oil as the main substrate. Out of 33 isolates, 32 showed positive results in the oil spreading technique (OST). All isolates showed good emulsification activity (E24) ranging from 84.1 to 95.8%. Based on OST and E24 values, isolate R1 was selected for further investigation in biosurfactant production in an agitated submerged fermentation. Phenotypic and genotypic analyses tentatively identified isolate R1 as a member of the Streptomyces genus. A submerged cultivation of Streptomyces sp. R1 was carried out in a 3-L stirred-tank bioreactor. The influence of impeller tip speed on volumetric oxygen transfer coefficient (k L a), growth, cell morphology and biosurfactant production was observed. It was found that the maximum biosurfactant production, indicated by the lowest surface tension measurement (40.5 ± 0.05 dynes/cm) was obtained at highest k L a value (50.94 h-1) regardless of agitation speed. The partially purified biosurfactant was obtained at a concentration of 7.19 g L-1, characterized as a lipopeptide biosurfactant and was found to be stable over a wide range of temperature (20-121 °C), pH (2-12) and salinity [5-20% (w/v) of NaCl].
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