A rhamnolipid biosurfactant reduces cadmium toxicity during naphthalene biodegradation

T. R. Sandrin, A. M. Chech, R. M. Maier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

147 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4585-4588
Number of pages4
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology


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