Although there are several screening assays available for screening and evaluating the presence of biosurfactants but many of these show variable results under the same conditions and for the same organism. Most commonly applied screening assays including oil spreading technique (OST), tilted glass slide assay (TGS), drop collapse assay, emulsification index E24 and emulsification assay were used to evaluate production of biosurfactants in five biochemically identified strains isolated form oil contaminated sites. All strains used were known producers of biosurfactants but showed variable results for different tests. Four of five strains produced similar results for OST, TGS and emulsification assay. Drop collapse assay produced negative results when small amounts of biosurfactants were present. So it was concluded that a single primary screening test alone cannot identify an organism’s ability to produce biosurfactants and these tests should be used in combinations to get a reliable picture.
Key Words: Biosurfactants, screening assays, Oil Spreading Technique, Tilted Glass Slide Test, Emulsification index E24, Emulsification assays.
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