Open Access Research article

Effect of Fe nanoparticle on growth and glycolipid biosurfactant production under solid state culture by marine Nocardiopsis sp. MSA13A

George Seghal Kiran1*, Lipton Anuj Nishanth2, Sethu Priyadharshini1, Kumar Anitha1 and Joseph Selvin2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Food Science and Technology, Pondicherry University, Puducherry 605014, India

2 Department of Microbiology, School of Life Sciences, Pondicherry University, Puducherry 605014, India

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BMC Biotechnology 2014, 14:48  doi:10.1186/1472-6750-14-48

Published: 21 May 2014



Iron is an essential element in several pathways of microbial metabolism, and therefore low iron toxicity is expected on the usage of Fe nanoparticles (NPs). This study aims to determine the effect of Fe NPs on biosurfactant production by marine actinobacterium Nocardiopsis sp. MSA13A under solid state culture. Foam method was used in the production of Fe NPs which were long and fiber shaped in nature.


The SEM observation showed non toxic nature of Fe NPs as no change in the morphology of the filamentous structure of Nocardiopsis MSA13A. The production of biosurfactant by Nocardiopsis MSA13A under solid state culture supplemented with Fe NPs increased to 80% over control. The biosurfactant produced by Nocardiopsis MSA13A was characterized as glycolipid derivative which effectively disrupted the pre-formed biofilm of Vibrio pathogen.


The use of metal NPs as supplement would reduce the impact of non-metallic ions of the metal salts in a fermentation process. This would ultimately useful to achieve greener production process for biosurfactants. The present results are first report on the optimization of biosurfactant production under SSC using Fe NPs.

Fe nanoparticles; Biosurfactant; Actinobacterium; Solid state fermentation; Nanoparticle-microbial interaction