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The Application of JMP and Design of Experiments to Model the Microbial Synthesis of Biosurfactants (2022-EU-30MP-997)

Benjamin Ingham, PhD Student, The University of Manchester
James Winterburn, Dr., The University of Manchester


Sophorolipid biosurfactants, produced via the fermentation of Starmerella bombicola, show great potential as eco-friendly alternatives to the petrochemical surfactants that are currently prevalent. To increase marketability, a reduction in manufacturing costs is required. Therefore, production processes must: a) improve productivity via a greater understanding of the sophorolipid synthesis process and b) apply low-cost alternative feedstocks.

By modelling the interaction of media components within the fermentation broth, it is possible to understand their role in sophorolipid production and generate a predictive model capable of maximising productivity when restrictions are applied (i.e., reduction in component quality/concentration). JMP was used to iteratively apply central composite design of experiments to analyse the effects of altering glucose, rapeseed oil, cornsteep liquor and ammonium sulfate concentrations on sophorolipid production after 168h of fermentation. An optimal composition was found that was capable of producing 40g/L sophorolipid and complex interactions between the media components were elucidated. The significant terms of the regression model were linked to changes within the conditions of the broth, providing a biological explanation for the output of the model. The results demonstrate the importance of using statistical tools to aid understanding of biological systems and the application of JMP to illustrate its findings.



Great inspiring talk - Thanks!

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