Vol. 2, Issue 10 (2015)
Isolation and Identification of Keratinolytic Bacteria from Tannery Effluent: A Study on Their Biodegradative and Dehairing Activity
Author(s): Preethi. K, Anand. M, Thazeem. B
Abstract: Degradation of keratinous wastes is a troublesome issue faced in the poultry farms (due to chicken feathers) and in tanneries (during de-hairing process). In this study, keratinolytic microorganisms were isolated from tannery aeration tank effluent. Isolates that had proteolytic activity were identified to be 6A - Bacillus mycoides, 8A - Bacillus cereus, 11A - Bacillus vallismortis, 12A - Bacillus mojavensis through MALDI-TOF. Isolate 8A (Bacillus cereus) showed highest degree of degradation (45%) of chicken feather when compared with other isolates and isolates 8A, 11A and 12A showed de-hairing activity. The enzymes were partially purified using acetone precipitation. Protein estimated was found to be 1.5 μg/ml, 2.2 μg/ml, 4.0 μg/ml, and 2.1 μg/ml for isolates 6A, 8A, 11A and 12A respectively. The molecular weight of the purified enzyme fractions obtained was approximately between 40 to 60 kDa. The present study reveals that it is advantageous to use microbial proteolytic enzymes for degradation of keratinous wastes, instead of commercial chemical and thermal hydrolysis methods.