Lipopeptides constitute an important class of microbial secondary metabolites. Some lipopeptides have potent therapeutic activities such as antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antitumor and immunomodulator. Surfactin, iturin, fengycin, lichenysin and bacillomycin D from Bacillus species, daptomycin from Streptomyces roseosporus and rhamnolipids from Pseudomonas aeruginosa are among the most studied lipopeptides. These molecules are good candidates to replace those antibiotics and antifungals with no effect on pathogenic microorganisms. Microbial lipopeptides are produced via fermentation processes by bacteria, yeast and actinomycetes either on water miscible and immiscible substrates. However, the major bottlenecks in lipopeptide production are yield increase and cost reduction. Improving the bioindustrial production processes relies on many issues such as selecting hyperproducing strains and the appropriate extraction techniques; purification and identification by Polymerase Chain Reaction(PCR), High Performance Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry(HPLC-MS), Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization-Time of Flight-Mass Spectrometry(MALDI-TOF-MS); the use of cheap raw materials and the optimization of medium-culture conditions. The purpose of this chapter is to orient the reader on the key elements in this field, including the selection of analytical strategies to get a good microbial strain as well as to show some examples of liquid and solid-state low-cost fermentation processes. Last, we introduce endophytic bacteria as lipopeptide-producer candidates.
Part of the book: Fermentation Processes