Microbial degradation of poultry feather biomass in a constructed bioreactor and application of hydrolysate as bioenhancer to vegetable crops

  • Ranjit Gurav
  • Virdhaval Nalavade
  • Chetan Aware
  • Govind Vyavahare
  • Shashi Kant Bhatia
  • Yung-Hun Yang
  • Vishwas Bapat
  • Jyoti JadhavEmail author
Research Article


Bioconversion of recalcitrant keratinous biomass is one of the greatest ways to utilize products of feather hydrolysis and recycle them into bionetwork. Present study revealed 87% degradation of poultry feathers within 48 h in a constructed bioreactor using Chryseobacterium sp. RBT. The resulting feather hydrolysate (FH) was rich in soluble protein (3.56 ± 0.18 mg/ml), amino acids (3.83 ± 0.20 mg/ml), and macro and micro nutrients like N (8.0302%), P (0.3876%), K (0.5532%), Cu (0.0684%), Mg (0.8078%), Mn (0.2001%), Ca (0.4832%), Zn (0.0442%), and Fe (0.0330%). HPTLC analysis of FH revealed presence of tryptophan, cysteine, methionine, phenylalanine, glycine, valine, tyrosine, lysine, leucine, and serine as the primary amino acids. Field studies were conducted to apply FH as the bioenhancer to commercially important crops like brinjal and chilli through root drenching (20%, v/v). FH showed positive impact on the growth and development of plants along with early flowering and improved crop yield. In addition, nutritional quality of brinjal and chilli in terms of protein, amino acids, reducing sugars, phenolics, flavonoids, and antioxidant was elevated. Therefore, promotion and utility of by-products generated in feather degradation would be an effective strategy focusing on sustainable agricultural practices and problems associated with the waste management.


Antioxidants Bioreactor Chryseobacterium sp. RBT Poultry feathers Root drenching 


Funding information

R. Gurav wishes to acknowledge Konkuk University, Seoul, Republic of Korea, for providing financial support under KU-Brain Pool Programme 2019. This work was partly supported by Research Program to solve social issues of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (2017M3A9E4077234) and National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF)(NRF-2015M1A5A1037196 and NRF-2019R1F1A1058805). In addition, this work was also supported by polar academic program (PAP, PE18900). R. Gurav also extends gratitude towards Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), New Delhi, India, for proving research funding under Fastrack Young Scientist Scheme (SB/YS/LS-165/2014). Department of Biotechnology (DBT), New Delhi, is also acknowledged for DBT-SUK-IPLS program (BT/PR4572/INF/22/147). Authors would also like to thanks Microbial Carbohydrate Resource Bank (MCRB, Seoul, Korea) for financial support. 

Supplementary material

11356_2019_6536_MOESM1_ESM.docx (374 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 374 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ranjit Gurav
    • 1
  • Virdhaval Nalavade
    • 2
  • Chetan Aware
    • 2
  • Govind Vyavahare
    • 2
  • Shashi Kant Bhatia
    • 1
  • Yung-Hun Yang
    • 1
  • Vishwas Bapat
    • 2
  • Jyoti Jadhav
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biological Engineering, College of EngineeringKonkuk UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of BiotechnologyShivaji UniversityKolhapurIndia

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