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Abstract

OPTIMIZATION OF CHITINASE PRODUCTION BY BACTERIA FROM NOVEL ENDOPHYTIC NICHE OF GLORIOSA SUPERBA AND SOIL OF NORTH-WESTERN REGION OF INDIA

Sneha Ogale*, Nikhil Joshi, Aishwarya Sukhatankar and Priyanka Manani

Abstract

In agricultural fields, damage to crops results from infection by fungal pathogens and attack by insect pests. Biocontrol agents offer an attractive alternative to chemical fungicides and pesticides, the use of which can seriously damage the environment. Biological control makes use of the natural enemies of the pathogens or pests. Chitin is a natural polymer found in cell walls of fungi and exoskeletons of insects. Chitinase producing organisms have potential as biocontrol agents. They can be isolated from soil, surfaces of marine animals such as shrimps and crabs or as endophytes of some plants. Endophytes are microorganisms living within the plant tissues without causing any diseases. They have potential to produce many bioactive compounds including chitinases. The aim of this study was to screen the endophytes of plant Gloriosa superba (Kalalaavi) for chitinase production, isolate chitinase producers from agricultural soil of Rajasthan and carry out the optimization of chitinase production by the selected isolates. The medium used for screening and isolating chitin degraders was Chitin Agar. There were 37 endophytes and 4 isolates of soil of which 31.70% were chitinase producing organisms. For optimization of enzyme production, studies were carried out with respect to incubation period, incubation temperature and pH by altering one factor at a time. Enzyme activity was determined by Nelson- Somogyi’s method, in terms of amount (in micromoles) of N-Acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) released per minute after 1 g% colloidal chitin solution was treated with crude enzyme. RS-1 showed highest chitinase activity of 0.1836 U/ 10 mL at an incubation temperature of 45°C, pH 7.0 and incubation period of 96 hours.

Keywords: Gloriosa superba, Endophytes, Chitin degraders, Chitinase.


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