Halophiles are extremophiles that grow in hypersaline niches. They are now considered as a source of valuable industrial enzymes besides novel genes and other bioactive biomolecules. Herein, we report the occurrence of halophilic bacteria in tannery effluent and in food grade salt crystals used as a food supplement. The bacterial strains were isolated using Zobell’s agar medium with 15% NaCl and identified based on morphological, biochemical, physiological characteristics and partial gene sequences of 16S rRNA. Interestingly, species of Oceanobacillus, Staphylococcus and Salimicrobium were isolated from tannery effluent, whereas food grade salt crystals harbored species of Halomonas elongata and Chromohalobacter salexigens. It was observed that Halomonas elongata was dominant among the bacteria associated with the food grade salt crystals. The two samples under study showed diverse halophilic bacterial flora. The phylogentic tree constructed showed the inter-relationship among the halophiles. On further analysis Oceanobacillus sp not only showed ability to produce lipase and protease, but also could grow in Zobell’s medium containing upto 30% NaCl. Lipase, amylase and protease were produced by H. elongata and Chromohalobacter salexigens sp., in lesser amounts.
Extremophiles, Halophiles, Halozymes, Tannery, Salt crystal
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