Author(s): Williams CM, Richter CS, Mackenzie JM, Shih JC
Abstract Share this page
Abstract A feather-degrading culture was enriched with isolates from a poultry waste digestor and adapted to grow with feathers as its primary source of carbon, sulfur, and energy. Subsequently, a feather-hydrolytic, endospore-forming, motile, rod-shaped bacterium was isolated from the feather-degrading culture. The organism was Gram stain variable and catalase positive and demonstrated facultative growth at thermophilic temperatures. The optimum rate of growth in nutrient broth occurred at 45 to 50 degrees C and at pH 7.5. Electron microscopy of the isolate showed internal crystals. The microorganism was identified as Bacillus licheniformis PWD-1. Growth on hammer-milled-feather medium of various substrate concentrations was determined by plate colony count. Maximum growth (approximately 10 cells per ml) at 50 degrees C occurred 5 days postinoculation on 1\% feather substrate. Feather hydrolysis was evidenced as free amino acids produced in the medium. The most efficient conditions for feather fermentation occurred during the incubation of 1 part feathers to 2 parts B. licheniformis PWD-1 culture (10 cells per ml) for 6 days at 50 degrees C. These data indicate a potential biotechnique for degradation and utilization of feather keratin.
This article was published in Appl Environ Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Bioprocessing & Biotechniques