DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Pseudozyma antarctica, an extremophilic yeast that was isolated from Lake Vanda in Antarctica in 1990. This extremophile is best known as the producer of stable lipases. P. antarctica produces mannosylerythritol lipids (MELs) which are biosurfactants, which could be used for the commercial production of the biosurfactants. Surfactants are compounds that lower the surface tension of a liquid, or the interfacial tension between two liquids, or a liquid and a solid. Interest in microbial surfactants has been increasing due to their diversity, environmentally friendly nature, commercial production, selectivity and performance under extreme environments, and potential applications in environmental protection. Biosurfactants enhance the emulsification of hydrocarbons, have the potential to solubilize hydrocarbon contaminants and increase their availability for microbial degradation. Magnification: x1,865 when.
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