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Biotechnology Letters

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Purpose The emerging biobased economy will require robust, adaptable, organisms for the production and processing of biomaterials as well as for bioremediation. Recently, the search for solvent tolerant organisms and solvent tolerant enzymes has intensifed. Resilient organisms secreting solvent stable lipases are of particular interest for biotechnological applications.

Methods Screening of soil samples for lipase-producing organisms was carried out on Rhodamine B plates. The most productive lipase-producing organisms were further screened for their resistance to solvents commonly used in biotechnological applications.

Results In the course of screening, one of the isolated organisms that exhibited extracellular lipaseactivity, was identifed as the human pathogen Listeria monocytogenes through 16S rRNA sequencing. Further exploration revealed that this organism was resistant to solvents ranging from log P − 0.81 to 4.0. Moreover, in the presence of these solvents, L. monocytogenes secreted an extracellular, solvent tolerant, lipase activity. This lipase retained approximately 80% activity when incubated in 30% (v/v) methanol for 24 h.

Conclusion These fndings identify L. monocytogenes as a potentially useful organism for biotechnological applications. However, the fact that Listeria is a pathogen is problematic and it will require the use of non-pathogenic or attenuated Listeria strains for practical applications. Nonetheless, the ability to adapt to rapidly changing environmental conditions, to grow at low temperatures, to resist solvents and to secrete an extracellular solvent tolerant lipase are unique and highly useful characteristics. The potential application of L. monocytogenes in wastewater bioremediation and plastics degradation is discussed.



Fiosraigh Scholarship (PB04146) granted by Dublin Institute of Technology/Technological University Dublin to PP

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