, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 229-235
Date: 18 Feb 2006

Isolation and characterization of a feather-degrading enzyme from Bacillus pseudofirmus FA30-01

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We isolated the feather-degrading Bacillus pseudofirmus FA30-01 from the soil sample of poultry farm. The isolate completely degraded feather pieces after liquid culture at 30°C (pH 10.5) for 3 days. Strain FA30-01 is a Gram-positive, spore-forming, rod-shaped bacterium and was identified with B. pseudofirmus based on 16S rDNA analysis. The keratinase enzyme produced by strain FA30-01 was refined using ammonium sulfate precipitation, negative-ion DEAE Toyopearl exchange chromatography, and hydroxyapatite chromatography. The refinement level was 14.5-fold. The molecular weight of this enzyme was 27.5 kDa and it had an isoelectric point of 5.9. The enzyme exhibited activity at pH 5.1–11.5 and 30–80°C with azokeratin as a substrate, although the optimum pH and temperature for keratinase activity were pH 8.8–10.3 and 60°C, respectively. This enzyme is one of the serine-type proteases. Subtilisin ALP I and this enzyme had 90% homology in the N-terminal amino acid sequence. Since this enzyme differed from ALP I in molecular weight, heat resistance and isoelectric point, they are suggested to be different enzymes.

Communicated by G. Antranikian