A Tropical Composting Operation Unit at São Paulo Zoo as a Source of Bacterial Proteolytic Enzymes


Composting operation systems are valuable sources of microorganisms and enzymes. This work reports the assessment of proteolytic enzymes from cultivable bacteria isolated from a composting facility of the São Paulo Zoo Park (SPZPF), São Paulo, Brazil. Three hundred bacterial isolates were obtained and identified based on 16S rRNA gene as belonging to 13 different genera. The most common genus among the isolates was Bacillus (67%); some of which show high proteolytic activity in their culture media. Biochemical assays of hydrolytic activities using FRET peptides as substrates allowed the characterization of a repertoire of serine proteases and metalloproteases with different molecular weights secreted by Bacillus strains isolated from composting. Furthermore, thermostable serine and metalloproteases were detected in the composting leachate, which might be of interest for industrial applications.

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This study was supported by the Brazilian research agencies Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP—Projects 12/50191-4R, 2013/12106-8, 2014/07037-0, and 2011/06548-2) and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq—Projects 471340/2011-1 and 470388/2010-2). The authors would like to thank Paulo Magalhães Bressan (Fundação Parque Zoológico de São Paulo) for providing access to the composting facility.

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Correspondence to Luciana T. D. Cappelini.

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Ramos, P.L., Kondo, M.Y., Santos, S.M.B. et al. A Tropical Composting Operation Unit at São Paulo Zoo as a Source of Bacterial Proteolytic Enzymes. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 187, 282–297 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12010-018-2810-7

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  • Proteases
  • FRET peptides
  • Thermostable proteases
  • Bacillus
  • Composting
  • Leachate