Identification of extracellular enzyme producing thermophilic bacilli from Balcova (Agamemnon) geothermal site by ITS rDNA RFLP
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Aims: Molecular characterization of extracellular enzyme producing thermophilic bacilli from Balcova geothermal site. Methods and Results: Three types of geothermal samples were collected: mud, re-injection water, and samples from uncontrolled hydrothermal vents. Isolates grown at 55°C in culture media prepared in sterilized re-injection water, were screened for extracellular enzyme activity by using eight different substrates: casein, carboxymethyl-cellulose, pectin, polygalacturonic acid (PGA), soluble starch, Tween 20 and 80, and xylan. In total, 109 thermoaerophilic isolates were selected. All of the isolates could hydrolyse Tween 20 (100%) but not Tween 80. Soluble starch was hydrolysed by 96%, casein by 55%, xylan and carboxymethylcellulose by 9%, and pectin and PGA by 2% of the isolates. The isolates were grouped into 14 different homology groups by the restriction pattern analysis of 16S-internal transcribed spacer (ITS) rDNA RFLP. Each of the RFLP groups was also studied by 16S rRNA gene partial sequence analysis. Plasmid DNA profiles revealed that 15 of the isolated strains contained small plasmid DNA molecules ranging in size from 12 000 to 35 000 bp. Conclusions: Combined analysis of 16S-ITS rDNA RFLP and 16S rRNA gene partial sequence results indicated the presence of novel or existing species of Anoxybacillus (nine species) and Geobacillus (three species). Significance and Impact of the Study: In this study 16S-ITS rDNA RFLP was applied for the first time to differentiate thermophilic bacilli. It was also the first study on thermophilic bacilli of Balcova geothermal site.