DIVERSITY OF ALKALOTOLERANT FUNGAL SPECIES IN PONGAMIA GLABRA VENT. LEAF LITTER SAMPLES OF GUINDY RESERVE FOREST, TAMIL NADUS. MUTHUKRISHNAN AND K.P. SANJAYAN
Leaf litter is a major habitat for fungal colonization wherein they play an important role in the degradation of cellulose. In recent years importance is given to our understanding of the diversity of alkalotolerant and alkalophilic fungi, since they have great scope for industrial application. Samples of Pongamia glabra Vent. leaf litres were collected from the Guindy reserve forest as a representative of a mesophilic habitat and alkalotolerent fungal species were isolated using the moist chamber and serial dilution techniques. Eight species of fungi were isolated through pure cultures technique and their alkalotolerance studied using pH ranging between 7 and 10. The frequency of occurrence of these species was calculated and growth characteristics studied in relation to the alkalinity and pH. The fungal species were tested for alkaline amylase, lipase, cellulase, chitinase and protease enzymes at pH 8 through plate assays. Penicillium citrinum is a promising alkalotolerent fungal species with good amylase, protease and cellulase activity at alkaline pH.
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