Chen, C-Y., Baker, S.C. and Darton, R.C.
Journal of Microbiological Methods
Volume 70, Issue 3, September 2007, Pages 503-510
The presence of biosurfactants in growth media can be evaluated by a variety of methods, none of which are suitable for high throughput studies. The method described here is based on the effect of meniscus shape on the image of a grid viewed through the wells of a 96-well plate. The efficacy of the method was demonstrated by the selection of a bacterium (producing a biosurfactant able to reduce the surface tension of pure water from 72 to 28.75 mN m? 1) from a culture collection isolated from aviation fuel-contaminated land. The assay was found to be more sensitive, rapid and easy to perform than other published methods. It does not need specialised equipment or chemicals and excludes the bias which results from the surfactant properties of medium used for bacterial growth.