How bacteria tolerate organic solvents

Kenneth W. Nickerson

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Researchers at the University of Nebraska isolated a strain of Staphylococcus haemolyticus from the gut of the oil fly larva. The bacterium tolerated the pure aromatic solvents on plate overlays and at saturating levels in single phase liquid cultures. The cell membrane fatty acid contents of bacteria after culture in liquid media with and without solvent was compared using gas chromatography. The group found that anteiso (branch-chain) fatty acid content increased after exposure at the expense of straight-chain acids. The extreme solvent tolerance of S. haemolyticus did not change its resistance to anionic or cationic detergents. A close look at other species of staphylococci revealed that six strains of S. aureus and five strains of S. epidermis, not obtained by solvent selection, also had high-solvent tolerance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
Specialist publicationIndustrial Bioprocessing
StatePublished - Nov 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Organic Chemistry


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