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Isolation, Biochemical Characterisation and Identification of Thermotolerant and Cellulolytic Paenibacillus lactis and Bacillus licheniformis

Krzysztof Makowski1,2*orcid tiny, Martyna Leszczewicz1orcid tiny, Natalia Broncel1orcid tiny, Lidia Lipińska-Zubrycka1,3orcid tiny, Adrian Głębski1orcid tiny, Piotr Komorowski4,5orcid tiny and Bogdan Walkowiak4,5orcid tiny

1Industrial Biotechnology Laboratory, Bionanopark Ltd., Dubois 114/116, Lodz, Poland 

2Biotechnika, Tymienieckiego 25, Lodz, Poland 

3Institute of Genetics and Biotechnology, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw, Miecznikowa 1, Warsaw, Poland 

4Molecular and Nanostructural Biophysics Laboratory, Bionanopark Ltd., Dubois 114/116, Lodz, Poland 

5Division of Biophysics, Institute of Materials Science, Lodz University of Technology, Stefanowskiego 1/15, Lodz, Poland

Article history:

Received: 10 December 2020

Accepted: 24 June 2021

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Key words:

Paenibacillus lactis, Bacillus licheniformis, cellulolytic activity, thermotolerant bacteria, carboxymethylcellulose (CMC), BioLector® microbioreactor


Research backgroundCellulose is an ingredient of waste materials that can be converted to other valuable substances. This is possible provided that the polymer molecule is degraded to smaller particles and used as a carbon source by microorganisms. Because of the frequently applied methods of pretreatment of lignocellulosic materials, the cellulases derived from thermophilic microorganisms are particularly desirable.

Experimental approachWe were looking for cellulolytic microorganisms able to grow at 50 °C and we described their morphological features and biochemical characteristics based on carboxymethyl cellulase (CMCase) activity and the API® ZYM system. The growth curves during incubation at 50 °C were examined using the BioLector® microbioreactor.

Results and conclusionsForty bacterial strains were isolated from fermenting hay, geothermal karst spring, hot spring and geothermal pond at 50 °C. The vast majority of the bacteria were Gram-positive and rod-shaped with the maximum growth temperature of at least 50 °C. We also demonstrated a large diversity of biochemical characteristics among the microorganisms. The CMCase activity was confirmed in 27 strains. Hydrolysis capacities were significant in bacterial strains: BBLN1, BSO6, BSO10, BSO13 and BSO14, and reached 2.74, 1.62, 1.30, 1.38 and 8.02 respectively. Rapid and stable growth was observed, among others, for BBLN1, BSO10, BSO13 and BSO14. The strains fulfilled the selection conditions and were identified based on the 16S rDNA sequences. BBLN1, BSO10, BSO13 were classified as Bacillus licheniformis, whereas BSO14 as Paenibacillus lactis.

Novelty and scientific contributionWe described cellulolytic activity and biochemical characteristics of many bacteria isolated from hot environments. We are also the first to report the cellulolytic activity of thermotolerant P. lactis. Described strains can be a source of new thermostable cellulases, which are extremely desirable in various branches of circular bioeconomy.

*Corresponding author: +48422807671

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