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Protease-producing psychrotrophic bacteria isolated from Antarctica

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The extracellular protease production capacity of 840 bacterial strains isolated during the austral summers of 1989/90 and 1991/92 from different sources of the Antarctic ecosystem was analysed in skim-milk agar plates. Thirty-four psychrotrophic strains were selected, classified at genus level and tested from proteolytic activity by the azocasein method from the cell-free supernatant of submerged cultures. Thirty-two of the selected strains were Gram-negative bacteria and Pseudomonas was the predominant genus. Three Pseudomonas maltophilia strains showed the highest levels of proteolytic activity at 20°C. No correlation was observed between the proteolytic activity estimated by the ring of hydrolysis in skim-milk agar plates and the activity measured by the azocasein method. The results suggest that these psychrotrophic strains are potentially useful for developing a biotechnological process to produce proteases with high activity at moderate temperatures.

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Vazquez, S.C., Rios Merino, L.N., MacCormack, W.P. et al. Protease-producing psychrotrophic bacteria isolated from Antarctica. Polar Biol 15, 131–135 (1995).

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  • Hydrolysis
  • Pseudomonas
  • Proteolytic Activity
  • Production Capacity
  • Moderate Temperature