Volume No. 4 Issue No.: 1 Page No.: 161-164 July-Sept 2009

 

CHITINASE PRODUCING POTENTIAL OF ACTINOMYCETES FROM THE EXTREME SALINE-ALKALINE ENVIRONMENT OF LONAR LAKE.

 

Prasad P. Loni* and Shyam S. Bajekal

Department of Microbiology, Yashwantrao Chavan College of Science, Karad
Vidyanagar, Karad

 

Received on : April 24, 2009

 

ABSTRACT

 

Chitinases are a group of enzymes that act on chitin, the second most abundant natural polymer after cellulose. Like many other enzymes, chitinases are also today finding an increasing array of applications from their use as biocontrol agents against phytopathogenic fungi, for the generation of fungal and yeast protoplasts and for the treatment of seafood waste. Among enzymes, those from extremophilic organisms are also finding increasing use today and chitinases are no exception.

Actinomycetes are a very sturdy group of microorganisms found in a myriad of environments including some extreme ones and are known to be major producers of chitinases. The Lonar Lake environment is known to be one such extreme environment with its highly alkaline pH around 9.5-10.0 and high salinity. It is the third largest natural salt water lake in the world and is formed in a meteorite impact crater, the only one formed in basaltic rock.

The littoral soil of this lake was screened for Actinomycetes producing chitinase. Among the several isolates found to be potent chitinase producers, productivity studies were carried out on six of these isolates with a view to explore their commercial potential as also their prospective applications in various fields such as biocontrol, etc.

 

Keywords : Chitin, Chitinase, Actinomycetes,

 

 

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