Biofouling causes major problems and economic losses to marine and shipping industries. In the search for new antifouling agents, marine bacteria with biosurfactants production capability can be an excellent option, due to the amphipathic surface-active characteristic that confers antimicrobial and antibiofilm activities. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antifouling activity of biosurfactants producing marine bacteria from the Gulf of California. The cell free culture supernatant (CFCS) of Bacillus niabensis (S-69), Ralstonia sp. (S-74) (isolated from marine sediment) and of B. niabensis (My-30) (bacteria associated to the sponge Mycale ramulosa) were screened for production of biosurfactants (using hemolysis and drop collapse test, oil displacement and emulsifying activity). The toxicity and antifouling activity were evaluated against biofoulers (bacteria forming biofilm and macrofoulers) both in laboratory and field assays. The results indicate that all bacteria were biosurfactant producers, but the higher capability was shown by B. niabensis (My-30) with high emulsifying properties (E24) of 71%. The CFCS showed moderate toxicity but were considered non-toxic against Artemia franciscana at low concentrations. In the antifouling assay, the CFCS of both strains of B. niabensis showed the best results for the reduction of the biofilm formation (up 50%) against all Gram-positive bacteria and most Gram-negative bacteria with low concentrations. In the field assay, the CFCS of B. niabensis (My-30) led to the reduction of 30% of biofouling compared to the control. The results indicate that the biosurfactant produced by B. niabensis (My-30) has promising antifouling activity.
- Bacillus niabensis
- Environmentally friendly antifouling
- Field assays
- Ralstonia sp