Isolation and identification of soil bacteria resistant to surfactants in washing detergents

Shin ichi Miyoshi, Naomi Okubo, Satoko Mitsumori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (LAS) and polyoxyethylene lauryl ether (POLE) are the major surfactants in washing detergents. In the present study, we isolated surfactant-resistant bacteria from soil samples collected from a sports ground and a farm field. The samples were treated with 2.0% LAS or POLE at 25°C for 30 min and cultivated on agar plates at 25°C for several days, after which manifold bacterial colonies were isolated. Thereafter, we tested the ability of each bacterial isolate to resist the antibacterial activity of the surfactant. Ten LAS-resistant strains were isolated, and all were found to be Gram-negative bacteria such as Enterobacter and Pseudomonas. On the other hand, 18 POLE-resistant strains were isolated, of which 14 were Gram-positive bacteria including Bacillus and Microbacterium. Notably, one POLE-resistant strain was identified as Bacillus cereus, a potential causative agent for foodborne illness. The genera of LAS- and POLE-resistant bacteria did not overlap. Therefore, the combination of LAS and POLE could be more effective to eliminate soil bacteria from clothes and/or daily necessities.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Surfactants and Detergents
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • linear alkylbenzene sulfonate
  • soil bacteria
  • surfactant
  • washing detergent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


Dive into the research topics of 'Isolation and identification of soil bacteria resistant to surfactants in washing detergents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this