Improvement of surfactin production in Bacillus subtilis using synthetic wastewater by overexpression of specific extracellular signaling peptides, comX and phrC

Ju Jung, Kyung Ok Yu, Ahmad Bazli Ramzi, Se Hoon Choe, Seung Wook Kim, Sung Ok Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)


Surfactin is a biological surfactant with numerous potential applications. In this study, Bacillus subtilis was engineered to improve surfactin production by the activation of two competence-stimulating pheromones, ComX and competence and sporulation factor (CSF) to stimulate the transcription of srfA operon. Both signaling factors, encoded by comX and phrC, were successfully overexpressed and subsequently increased surfactin production. Surfactin produced by engineered strains showed functional groups similar to the commercially available surfactin analyzed via Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Surfactin production in the B. subtilis (pHT43-comXphrC) strain was 6.4-fold greater than in the wild strain, with approximately 135.1mg/L surfactin produced after 48h cultivation. To reduce the production costs of surfactin, synthetic wastewater was used, from which the B. subtilis (pHT43-comXphrC) strain produced approximately 140.2mg/L surfactin. The results obtained demonstrated the production of surfactin from synthetic wastewater, which is beneficial in lowering the overall production costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2349-2356
Number of pages8
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Sep 1



  • Bacillus subtilis
  • Signaling peptides
  • Surfactin
  • Synthetic wastewater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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