Vol. 2, Issue 4 (2016)
Degradation of keratin waste products by Kocuria rosea
Author(s): Chandni Anand, Mansi Mehta, Gaurav Shah
Abstract: Feathers are rich in keratin which is an insoluble protein and are introduced naturally into the environment as a waste product in large quantities worldwide. These feathers are mechanically or chemically treated to form feather meal, a dietry protein supplement for animals. Alternatively, keratin can be biodegraded by some microorganisms. The keratinase enzyme produced can be used in dehairing in leather industry. In the present study a strain of Kocuria rosea was used to degrade feathers at varying pH and temperature. This gram positive spherical shaped bacterium degraded feather within 5 days of incubation. The optimum pH and temperature for feather degradation and keratinase secretion was at 8.5 and 37° C. Feather degradation reached upto 88.62 % and the enzymatic activity was found to be 81.8 U/mL.