Cold-active hydrolases producing bacteria from two different sub-glacial Himalayan lakes.
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Microorganisms, native to the cold environments have successfully acclimatized their physiological, metabolic and biological features, exhibiting uniqueness in their enzymes, proteins, and membrane structures. These cold-active enzymes have immense biotechnological potential. The diversity of culturable bacteria in two different water lakes (the sub-glacial freshwater and the brackish) of Himalayas was analyzed using SYBR green staining and cultural methods. A total of 140 bacteria were isolated and were grouped as psychrophiles, psychrotrophs and psychrotolerant organisms, based on their optimal temperature for growth. The amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis using three restriction enzymes facilitated the grouping of these isolates into 96 genotypes at ?85% polymorphism. Phylogenetic analysis using 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that the bacterial strains from both lakes belonged to Firmicutes, Proteobacteria (?, ?, and ?) or Actinobacteria. Screening of the germplasm for the activity of different cold-active hydrolases such as protease, amylase, xylanase and cellulase, revealed that about sixteen isolates were positive, and exhibiting a wide range of stability at various temperature and pH. Our results suggest that the distinctly different ecosystems of sub-glacial freshwater and brackish water lakes have diverse groups of bacteria, which can be an excellent source of extracellular hydrolases with a wide range of thermal stability. (© 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)
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