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Brazilian Journal of Microbiology

Print version ISSN 1517-8382On-line version ISSN 1678-4405


RIFFEL, Alessandro  and  BRANDELLI, Adriano. Keratinolytic bacteria isolated from feather waste. Braz. J. Microbiol. [online]. 2006, vol.37, n.3, pp.395-399. ISSN 1517-8382.

The aim of this study was to characterize keratinolytic bacteria isolated from feather waste. Four isolates were selected after growth on solid medium with feather meal as sole carbon and nitrogen source and screened for proteolytic activity on milk agar plates. Three isolates were Gram-negative (belonged to the genera Burkholderia, Chryseobacterium and Pseudomonas) and one was Gram-positive (Microbacterium sp.). These bacteria grew on diverse keratin wastes such as feather meal, raw feathers, chicken nails, hair and wool. Keratinase activity was detected during growth, but the complete degradation of these substrates was not always achieved. The proteolytic character of crude enzymes was assessed using azokeratin and azocasein as substrates. The keratinases were active on both substrates and were similar in keratin hydrolysis when compared with commercially available microbial peptidases. These novel keratinolytic isolates have potential biotechnological use in processes involving keratin hydrolysis.

Keywords : feather; keratin; peptidase; proteolysis.

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