Production of bioemulsifier by an unusual isolate of salmon/red melanin containing Rhodotorula glutinis

  • J K Oloke Department of Pure and Applied Biology, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Nigeria
  • B R Glick Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Keywords: Bioemulsifier, rhodotorula glutinis, teleomorph, Rhodosporidium toruloides


An unusual isolate of Rhodotorula glutinis was obtained. The yeast produces a spore and a crystalliferous protein per cell. Sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed that the parasporal crystals contained polypeptides with a molecular mass of approximately 55, 47, 40, 36 32.5, 30 and 25 kD. The yeast also produces a salmon/red pigment at late stage of exponential growth, which has physical and chemical properties that are consistent with it being a form of melanin. The organism has been used to produce bioemulsifier with emulsion index of 80% when tested against kerosene and crude oil. The bioemulsifier has been shown to be capable of eliminating about 76% of crude oil pollutant. The colonial and mycelia forms of Rhodosporidium toruloides and Rhodosporidium sphaerocarpum have been successfully isolated from the unusual organism.

African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 4 (2), pp. 164-171, 2005

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eISSN: 1684-5315