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Cellulosic biofilm formation of Komagataeibacter in kombucha at oil-water interfaces

Authors
  • Subbiahdoss, Guruprakash
  • Osmen, Sarah
  • Reimhult, Erik
Type
Published Article
Journal
Biofilm
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Feb 26, 2022
Volume
4
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.bioflm.2022.100071
PMID: 35280972
PMCID: PMC8904243
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Article
License
Unknown

Abstract

Bacteria forming biofilms at oil-water interfaces have diverse metabolism, they use hydrocarbons as a carbon and energy source. Kombucha is a fermented drink obtained from a complex symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, where acetic acid bacteria present in kombucha use sugars as a carbon source to produce cellulosic biofilms. We hypothesize that Komagataeibacteraceae in kombucha can adsorb to and use hydrocarbons as the sole energy source to produce cellulosic biofilms. Hence we characterized a kombucha culture, studied bacterial adsorption and cellulosic biofilm formation of kombucha at the n -decane or mineral oil-kombucha suspension interface. The cellulosic biofilms were imaged using fluorescence microscopy and cryo-scanning electron microscopy, and their time-dependent rheology was measured. Komagataeibacter, the dominant bacterial genus in the kombucha culture, produced cellulosic biofilms with reduced cellulose biomass yield at the oil-kombucha suspension interfaces compared to at the air-kombucha suspension interface. The presence of biosurfactants in the supernatant secreted by the kombucha microbes led to a larger and faster decrease in the interfacial tension on both oil types, leading to the formation of stable and elastic biofilm membranes. The difference in interfacial tension reduction was insignificant already after 2 h of biofilm formation at the mineral oil-kombucha suspension interface compared to kombucha microbes resuspended without biosurfactants but persisted for longer than 24 h in contact with n -decane. We also demonstrate that Komagataeibacter in kombucha can produce elastic cellulosic biofilms using hydrocarbons from the oil interface as the sole source of carbon and energy. Thus Komagataeibacter and kombucha shows the potential of this system for producing valued bacterial cellulose through remediation of hydrocarbon waste.

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