Author(s): Bae HD, Yanke LJ, Cheng KJ, Selinger LB
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Abstract Differential agar media for the detection of microbial phytase activity use the disappearance of precipitated calcium or sodium phytate as an indication of enzyme activity. When this technique was applied to the study of ruminal bacteria, it became apparent that the method was unable to differentiate between phytase activity and acid production. Strong positive reactions (zones of clearing around microbial colonies) observed for acid producing, anaerobic bacteria, such as Streptococcus bovis, were not corroborated by subsequent quantitative assays. Experimentation revealed that acidic solutions generated false positive results on the selected differential medium. Empirical studies undertaken to find a solution to this limitation determined the false positive results could be eliminated through a two step counterstaining treatment (cobalt chloride and ammonium molybdate/ammonium vanadate) which reprecipitates acid solubilized phytate. This report discusses the application of the developed two step counterstaining treatment for the screening of phytase producing ruminal bacteria as well as its use in phytase zymogram assays.
This article was published in J Microbiol Methods
and referenced in Journal of Aquaculture Research & Development