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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Renewable Product Technology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #356237

Research Project: New Biobased Products and Improved Biochemical Processes for the Biorefining Industry

Location: Renewable Product Technology Research

Title: Inhibition of Lactobacillus biofilm growth in fuel ethanol fermentations by Bacillus

item SAUNDERS, LAUREN - Former ARS Employee
item BISCHOFF, KENNETH - Former ARS Employee
item Bowman, Michael
item Leathers, Timothy

Submitted to: Bioresource Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/4/2018
Publication Date: 10/6/2018
Citation: Saunders, L.P., Bischoff, K., Bowman, M.J., Leathers, T.D. 2018. Inhibition of Lactobacillus biofilm growth in fuel ethanol fermentations by Bacillus. Bioresource Technology. 272:156-161.

Interpretive Summary: Commercial fuel ethanol fermentation suffer from microbial contaminants that can evade control efforts by growing as slimy “biofilms” which are difficult to clean and resistant to antibiotics. In this study, 54 types of microorganisms were surveyed in a search for new inhibitors of fuel ethanol contaminant biofilms. Results showed that one type of microbe was particularly effective in inhibiting typical contaminants. These results are important to researchers developing improved methods to control contamination of fuel ethanol production.

Technical Abstract: Commercial fuel ethanol fermentations suffer from microbial contaminants, particularly species of Lactobacillus that may persist as antibiotic-resistant biofilms. In this study, culture supernatants from 54 strains of Bacillus known to produce lipopeptides were tested for inhibition of biofilm formation by Lactobacillus fermentum, L. plantarum, and L. brevis strains previously isolated as biofilm-forming contaminants of a commercial fuel ethanol facility. Eleven Bacillus strains inhibited biofilm formation by all three strains by at least 65% of controls. None of these strains inhibited Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Three strains also significantly inhibited planktonic cultures of Lactobacillus. Culture supernatants from B. nakamurai strain NRRL B-41091 were particularly effective. Inhibition was bacteriostatic rather than bacteriocidal, and appeared to be specific for strains of Lactobacillus. Furthermore, the inhibitor from B. nakamurai was shown to prevent stuck fermentations in a corn mash model fermentation system of S. cerevisiae contaminated with L. fermentum.