A model cocontaminated system was developed to determine whether a metal-complexing biosurfactant, rhamnolipid, could reduce metal toxicity to allow enhanced organic biodegradation by a Burkholderia sp. isolated from soil. Rhamnolipid eliminated cadmium toxicity when added at a 10-fold greater concentration than cadmium (890 μM), reduced toxicity when added at an equimolar concentration (89 μM), and had no effect at a 10-fold smaller concentration (8,9 μM). The mechanism by which rhamnolipid reduces metal toxicity may involve a combination of rhamnolipid complexation of cadmium and rhamnolipid interaction with the cell surface to alter cadmium uptake.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology