Metagenomics for the discovery of novel biosurfactants of environmental interest from marine ecosystems
•Partial biosurfactant genes have been heterologously expressed in S. cerevisiae.•A bacterial consortium has produced a highly active and stable biosurfactant.•The biosurfactant serrawettin has been heterologously expressed in E. coli.•Heterologous biosurfactant expression in a shotgun clone library has been achieved.
Research focused on the search for new biosurfactants aims to replace chemical surfactants, which while being cost-effective are ecologically undesirable. Metagenomics can lead to discovery of novel biosurfactants, tackling issues of low production yields. Recent successes include the heterologous production of biosurfactants. The dearth of biosurfactants discovered to date through metagenomics is puzzling given that good screening systems and heterologous host systems are available.
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Journal: Current Opinion in Biotechnology - Volume 33, June 2015, Pages 176–182