A study of feather keratin degradation by Bacillus licheniformis and quantification of keratinase enzyme produced

Ponnusamykonar Poovendran, Venkitasamy Kalaigandhi, Vidhya Kamalase Kanan, E. Jamuna rani, Eliyaperumal Poongunran


Feathers constitute over 90% proteins, the main component are beta-keratin. It is degraded only by keratinase enzyme. These enzymes were produced by some species of Bacillus. In the present study, B .licheniformis was used for degrading keratin substrate such as sheep, goat hair and feathers. Basal medium was prepared. To this keratin substrate and the culture was added and after incubation, amount of keratinase was measured. B.licheniformis released 4.4kU/ml amended with feathers and released 0.4 to 0.6kU/ml amended with hairs. Feathers were hydrolyzed by using microbes and the remaining products were used as animal feed. Feathers were added to phosphate buffer (pH 7.0) and the organism was inoculated and incubated. After incubation the hydrolysate was taken and boiled, final dried products were estimated for the presence of carbohydrate and protein. About 74% amount of protein and 20% carbohydrate were present. To our knowledge this process reduces the feed cost and produce industrially important enzyme and at the same time protect the environment from pollution.


Kew words: Keratinase enzyme. B .licheniformis. Chicken feather waste.

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