Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 120, Issue 1, pp 71–79 | Cite as

Characteriztion of a novel feather-degrading Bacillus sp. strain

  • Paricia Orsoo Werlang
  • Adriano Brandelli
Original Articles


Feather waste is generated in large amounts as a byproduct of commercial poultry processing. This residue is almost pure keratin, which is not easily degradable by common proteolytic enzymes. A feather-degrading bacterium was isolated from poultry feathers in decomposition. The strain identified as kr16 showed important feather-degrading activity when grown on basal medium containing 10 g/L of native feather as the source of energy, carbon, and nitrogen. The isolate was characterized according to the phenotypical characteristics and biochemical profiling that belong to the Bacillus genus. Keratinolytic activity of this isolate was monitored during cultivation of the bacterium on raw feathers at different temperatures. Maximum growth and feather-degrading activity were observed at 30–37°C. The keratinolytic enzyme had a pH optimum ranging from 8.0 to 11.0 and a temperature optimum of 45–65°C. The keratinase was strongly inhibited by EDTA and the metal ions Hg2+ and Sn2+.

Index Entries

Bacillus feather digestion keratinase poultry waste protease 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratório de Bioquímica e Microbiologia Aplicada, Departamento de Ciência de Alimentos, ICTAUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrasil

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