OCCURRENCE AND EXTRACELLULAR ENZYME POTENTIAL OF ACTINOMYCETES OF A THERMAL SPRING, SOUTHERN INDIAMAHENDRA K. RANJEKAR' AND K.R. SRIDHAR
Occurrence and extracellular enzyme activities of mesophilic and thermophilic actinomycetes of a thermal spring of Western Ghats have been studied. Actinomycetes in spring water, leaf litter and sediment was assessed on starch casein agar (SCA), colloidal chitin agar (CCA) and inorganic basal agar (IBA) media. Spring water samples consists of higher thermophilies than mesophiles on SCA, but no mesophiles on CCA and thermophiles on IBA were isolated. Decomposing leaf litter yielded more number of mesophiles and thermophiles on SCA, while in stream sediment it was more on CCA. Chitin-degrading and sulfur-oxidizing actinomycetes were common in this thermal spring. About 95% of the isolates tested showed extracellular enzyme activity. Out of 64 isolates screened, 59, 52, 26 and 15 isolates exhibited lipase, amylase gelatinase, chitinase and cellulase activities respectively This study shows that the thermal spring actinomycetes needs further investigations in view of their bioactive compounds and enzymes.
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