In the present study 83 bacteria in toto were isolated from eleven sponges; one gorgonian and one antipatherian from the Bay of Bengal and screened for their extracellular cellulase activity. Thirteen isolates were positive for cellulase activity. Three isolates with higher zones of activity viz. B. stearothermophilus (RRL-11), B. subtilis (RRL-12) and
B. subtilis (RRL-36) were selected for further characterization studies using two different media (Medium-1 and Medium-2). Optimum pH for enzyme activity was 7.5 except RRL-12 which showed a range of pH 6-8 at which the activity was stable (medium-1). Optimum temperature for enzyme activity was 40° C while RRL-11 and 12 exhibited a stable range of 50°–70° C and 45°-65° C respectively. Of the three isolates studied, RRL-36 showed an optimum NaCl concentration of 7% for maximum enzyme activity. From metal ions studies, Ca2+ was found to be the inhibitor ion.
Extracellular cellulase, Bacteria, Marine Sponges, Bay of Bengal
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