Pseudomonas aeruginosa rhamnolipids: Biosynthesis and potential applications

R. M. Maier, G. Soberón-Chávez

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

466 Scopus citations


Pseudomonas aeruginosa produces and secretes rhamnose-containing glycolipid biosurfactants called rhamnolipids. This review describes rhamnolipid biosynthesis and potential industrial and environmental applications of rhamnolipids. Rhamnolipid production is dependent on central metabolic pathways, such as fatty acid synthesis and dTDP-activated sugars, as well as on enzymes participating in the production of the exopolysaccharide alginate. Synthesis of these surfactants is regulated by a very complex genetic regulatory system that also controls different P. aeruginosa virulence-associated traits. Rhamnolipids have several potential industrial and environmental applications including the production of fine chemicals, the characterization of surfaces and surface coatings, as additives for environmental remediation, and as a biological control agent. Realization of this wide variety of applications requires economical commercial-scale production of rhamnolipids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-633
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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