Bioconversion of Colloidal Chitin Using Novel Chitinase from Glutamicibacter uratoxydans Exhibiting Anti-fungal Potential by Hydrolyzing Chitin Within Fungal Cell Wall

  • Tayyaba Asif
  • Urooj Javed
  • Syeda Bushra Zafar
  • Asma Ansari
  • Shah Ali Ul QaderEmail author
  • Afsheen Aman
Original Paper



Chitin is a unique structural exopolysaccharide abundantly found in nature. This exopolysaccharide has a unique chemical structure that acts as a protective outermost covering for most of the crustaceans in aquatic ecosystem. This fortification is because of the insoluble nature of this exopolysaccharide which consist of a linear chain of β-(1→4)-linked-N-acetylglucosamine units. Chitin is hydrolyzed with the help of a hydrolase known as chitinase. Variety of microbial species have been explored for chitinase production. Chitinolytic microbial species can be alternatively used for degradation of chitin instead of chemical treatment in agricultural sector. This biological approach has lesser environmental impact because of its apparently safe nature.


In the current study, bioprospecting of chitinase producing species was conducted and different chitinolytic bacterial strains were screened for chitinase production which could have anti-fungal potential. Bacterial isolates were identified based on polyphasic approach and the enzyme production was optimized using one-variable-at-a-time technique. Hyphal extension method was used for determination of anti-fungal potential of chitinase.Glutamicibacter uratoxydans was indigenously isolated and identified for chitinase production. G. uratoxydans is a novel bacterial species which has not been previously explored to produce chitinase or other hydrolases. G. uratoxydans biosynthesized chitinase utilizing colloidal chitin as a sole source of carbon. The chitinase biosynthesized by G. uratoxydans is effectively potent against Aspergillus fumigatus thus, suggesting that this extracellular enzyme could be used for the treatment of fungal infection caused by filamentous fungi.

Graphic Abstract


Colloidal chitin N-Acetyl-β-d-glucosamine Chitinase Glutamicibacter uratoxydans 



Current research work was funded by Higher Education Commission (HEC), Islamabad, Pakistan through HEC-NRPU-Research Project No. 6549/Sindh/NRPU/R&D/2015.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article doesn’t contain any studies with human participants or animals.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all the individual participants included in the current study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tayyaba Asif
    • 1
  • Urooj Javed
    • 1
  • Syeda Bushra Zafar
    • 1
  • Asma Ansari
    • 1
  • Shah Ali Ul Qader
    • 2
    Email author
  • Afsheen Aman
    • 1
  1. 1.The Karachi Institute of Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering (KIBGE)University of KarachiKarachiPakistan
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of KarachiKarachiPakistan

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