Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 163, Issue 1, pp 112–126 | Cite as

Identification of a Keratinase-Producing Bacterial Strain and Enzymatic Study for Its Improvement on Shrink Resistance and Tensile Strength of Wool- and Polyester-Blended Fabric

  • Shao-Bo Cai
  • Zheng-Hua Huang
  • Xing-Qun Zhang
  • Zhang-Jun CaoEmail author
  • Mei-Hua Zhou
  • Feng Hong


A wool-degrading bacterium was isolated from decomposition wool fabrics in China. The strain, named 3096-4, showed excellent capability of removing cuticle layer of wool fibers, as demonstrated by removing cuticle layer completely within 48 h. According to the phenotypic characteristics and 16S rRNA profile, the isolate was classified as Pseudomonas. Bacteria growth and keratinase activity of the isolate were determined during cultivation on raw wool at different temperatures, initial pH, and rotation speed using orthogonal matrix method. Maximum growth and keratinase activity of the bacterium were observed under the condition including 30 °C, initial pH 7.6, and rotational speeds 160 rpm. The keratinase-containing crude enzyme prepared from 3096-4 was evaluated in the treatment of wool fabrics. The optimal condition of our enzymatic improvement of shrink resistance was the combination of 30 °C, initial pH 7.6, and rotation speeds 160 rpm. After the optimized treatment, the wool fabrics felting shrink was 4.1% at 6 h, and textile strength was not lost.


Pseudomonas Keratinase Wool fabrics Shrink resistance 



This work was partial supported by Ph.D. program foundation of Ministry of Education of China (No.20090075110007) and partially supported by Chinese Universities Scientific Fund. We are grateful to Zhiyong Deng for critical reading of the manuscript.

Supplementary material

12010_2010_9021_MOESM1_ESM.doc (137 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 137 kb)


  1. 1.
    Heine, E., & Höcker, H. (1995). Enzyme treatments for wool and cotton. Review of Progress in Coloration and Related Topics, 25, 57–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cortez, J., Bonner, P. L. R., & Griffin, M. (2004). Application of transglutaminases in the modification of wool textiles. Enzyme and Microbial Technology, 34, 64–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Du, G. C., Cui, L., Zhu, Y., & Chen, J. (2007). Improvement of shrink-resistance and tensile strength of wool fabric treated with a novel microbial transglutaminase from Streptomyces hygroscopicus. Enzyme and Microbial Technology, 40, 1753–1757.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cardamone, J. M. (2002). Proteolytic activity of Aspergillus flavus on wool. Aatcc Review, 2, 30–35.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Sousa, F., Jus, S., Erbel, A., Kokol, V., Cavaco-Paulo, A., & Gubitz, G. M. (2007). A novel metalloprotease from Bacillus cereus for protein fibre processing. Enzyme and Microbial Technology, 40, 1772–1781.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cao, Z. J., Zhang, Q., Wei, D. K., Chen, L., Wang, J., Zhang, X. Q., et al. (2009). Characterization of a novel Stenotrophomonas isolate with high keratinase activity and purification of the enzyme. Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology, 36, 181–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Tamura, K., Dudley, J., Nei, M., & Kumar, S. (2007). MEGA4: molecular evolutionary genetics analysis (MEGA) software version 4.0. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 24, 1596–1599.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gradisar, H., Kern, S., & Friedrich, J. (2000). Keratinase of Doratomyces microsporus. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 53, 196–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Freeland, G. N., & Guise, G. B. (1990). Shrink-resist treatments for wool by exhaustion of polymers: mild degradative pretreatments of worsted-spun knitwear. Journal of the Textile Institute, 81, 323–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hossain, K. M. G., Juan, A. R., & Tzanov, T. (2008). Simultaneous protease and transglutaminase treatment for shrink resistance of wool. Biocatalysis and Biotransformation, 26, 405–411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Silva, C. J. S. M., Prabaharan, M., Gubitz, G., & Cavaco-Paulo, A. (2005). Treatment of wool fibres with subtilisin and subtilisin-PEG. Enzyme and Microbial Technology, 36, 917–922.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Gupta, R., & Ramnani, P. (2006). Microbial keratinases and their prospective applications: an overview. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 70, 21–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Brandelli, A., Daroit, D., & Riffel, A. (2010). Biochemical features of microbial keratinases and their production and applications. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 85, 1735–1750.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Yin, L.-J., Lee, J.-H., & Jiang, S.-T. (2006). Isolation of a keratinase producing bacterium and purification of its keratinase. Journal of the Fisheries Society of Taiwan, 33, 377–390.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Lin, H. H., Yin, L. J., & Jiang, S. T. (2009). Cloning, expression, and purification of Pseudomonas aeruginosa keratinase in Escherichia coli AD494(DE3)pLysS expression system. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 57, 3506–3511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Cai, T., Zhao, Y. and Yang, C. (2007). A study on hair care of feather keratin. Flavour Fragrance Cosmetics, 5, 14–16 (in Chinese with English abstract).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Benson, R.E., Fahnestock, S.R., Hamilton, P., Obrien, J.P. and Wang, H. (2009). New dyed-hair-binding peptides having specified amino acid sequences for forming peptide-based hair reagent and hair care composition, useful for applying conditioner or colorant to dyed hair or forming protective layer on dyed hair surface. US: US2009074694-A1Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kawahara, Y., Endo, R., & Kimura, T. (2004). Chemical finishing of bast fibers and woods using hydrolyzed keratin from waste wool or down. Textile Research Journal, 74, 93–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shao-Bo Cai
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zheng-Hua Huang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xing-Qun Zhang
    • 2
  • Zhang-Jun Cao
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mei-Hua Zhou
    • 3
  • Feng Hong
    • 1
  1. 1.Group Microbiological Engineering & Industrial Biotechnology, College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and BiotechnologyDonghua UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Science & Technology of Eco-Textile, Ministry of EducationDonghua UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.College of Environmental Science & EngineeringDonghua UniversityShanghaiChina

Personalised recommendations