, Volume 146, Issue 1, pp 19-24

Production of extracellular keratinases by keratinophilic fungal species inhabiting feathers of living poultry birds (Gallus domesticus): A comparison

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Abstract

Fourteen species of keratinophilic fungi belonging to ten genera (Chrysoporium, Malbranchea, Chaetomium,Sepedonium, Microascus, Scopulariopsis, Curvularia, Fusarium, Aspergillus, Penicillium) were isolated from feathers of about one hundred living poultry birds. The isolated fungi were compared for their keratinase activity after growing them on two different media: (1) basal salts solution containing natural keratin (human hair) as the only source of carbon and nitrogen; (2) the medium was supplemented with a minor amount of readily assimilable source of carbon along with natural keratin. All the test fungi could grow on keratinous material, degrading it and releasing sulphydryl containing compounds detected as cysteine, total proteins and extracellular keratinase. Maximum enzyme release by these fungi occurred in the broth supplemented with glucose and vitamins, thereby indicating a correlation between the mycelial biomass and production of proteolytic keratinases.

This revised version was published online in June 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.