Brazilian Journal of Microbiology

, Volume 50, Issue 1, pp 85–97 | Cite as

Isolation and characterization of bacteria associated with the rhizosphere of halophytes (Salsola stocksii and Atriplex amnicola) for production of hydrolytic enzymes

  • Salma Mukhtar
  • Samina Mehnaz
  • Muhammad Sajjad Mirza
  • Kauser Abdulla MalikEmail author
Biotechnology and Industrial Microbiology - Research Paper


Microbes from hypersaline environments are useful in biotechnology as sources of novel enzymes and proteins. The current study aimed to characterize halophilic bacteria from the rhizosphere of halophytes (Salsola stocksii and Atriplex amnicola), non-rhizospheric, and brine lake-bank soils collected from Khewra Salt Mine and screening of these bacterial strains for industrially important enzymes. A total of 45 bacterial isolates from the rhizosphere of Salsola, 38 isolates from Atriplex, 24 isolates from non-rhizospheric, and 25 isolates from lake-bank soils were identified by using 16S rRNA gene analysis. Phylogenetic analysis showed that bacterial strains belonging to Bacillus, Halobacillus, and Kocuria were dominant in the rhizosphere of halophytes (Salsola and Atriplex), and Halobacillus and Halomonas were dominating genera from non-rhizospheric and lake-bank soils. Mostly identified strains were moderately halophilic bacteria with optimum growth at 1.5–3.0 M salt concentrations. Most of the bacterial exhibited lipase, protease, cellulase, amylase, gelatinase, and catalase activities. Halophilic and halotolerant Bacilli (AT2RP4, HL1RS13, NRS4HaP9, and LK3HaP7) identified in this study showed optimum lipase, protease, cellulase, and amylase activities at 1.0–1.5 M NaCl concentration, pH 7–8, and temperature 37 °C. These results indicated that halophilic and halotolerant bacteria can be used for bioconversion of organic compounds to useful products under extreme conditions.


Halophilic bacteria 16S rRNA gene Hydrolytic enzymes Salsola stocksii Atriplex amnicola 



We are highly thankful to the Higher Education Commission for research grant of a project entitled “Microbial diversity and metagenomic analysis of rhizosphere of plants growing in extremely halophytic and xerophytic environments” and the Pakistan Academy of Sciences for a project entitled “Identification and characterization of different proteins involved in osmoregulation of halophilic bacteria through culturable and metaproteomics approaches.”

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

42770_2019_44_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.2 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 1238 kb)


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Copyright information

© Sociedade Brasileira de Microbiologia 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Salma Mukhtar
    • 1
  • Samina Mehnaz
    • 1
  • Muhammad Sajjad Mirza
    • 2
  • Kauser Abdulla Malik
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesForman Christian College (A Chartered University)LahorePakistan
  2. 2.Environmental Biotechnology DivisionNational Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (NIBGE)FaisalabadPakistan

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