MICRBIOL COMMUNITY STRUCTURE AND CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF LEAF FIBRE BIOMASS FROM TWO WOODY PERENNIALS CASSIA FISTULA LINN. AND CAESALPINIA PULCHERRIMA SWARTZ. - AN INVESTIGATION ON CELLULOLYTIC BACTERIAPRIYANKA MAJUMDAR AND SUNANDA CHANDA
Leaf fibre residue generated as waste by - product in huge quantity during bulk production of leaf protein from forest tree leaves poses disposals problem in the absence of its utilization. The fibre residue can be sent back to the forest floor for mineralization as a soil amendment. A short-term in vitro study was conducted to study the ecology of cellulolytic bacteria and the rate of decomposition of the mixture of fibre residues from two perennial plants Cassia fistula Linn. and Caesalpinia pulcherria Swartz. by these microorganisms. The most suitable condition was found to be at 25% moisture content, at temperature 35°C and pH 6.5, for bacterial association and fibre decomposition. A short-term enrichment technique was adopted to screen some cellulolytic bacteria using Han and Srinivasan's medium with Carboxy Methyl Cellulose (CMC) as the sole carbon source. The isolated colonies were transferred on Nutrient Agar slants and studied for their gross morphology by Gram staining, motility and flagella staining spore formation and for various physiological and biochemical characteristics including hydrolysis of cellulose and casein, liquefaction of gelatin, decomposition of L-tyrosine, production of hydrogen sulphide tolerance to NaC1, etc. Final identification was made based on "Bergey's Manual of Determinative Bacteriology" (1974). A total number of fifteen isolates were obtained during the course of investigation. Cultural, morphological and physiological characteristics of these isolates showed that they belonged to three genera Bacillus, Cellulomonas, Pseudomonas.
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