Isolation and characterization of an Antarctic Flavobacterium strain with agarase and alginate lyase activities

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Several bacteria that are associated with macroalgae can use phycocolloids as a carbon source. Strain INACH002, isolated from decomposing Porphyra (Rhodophyta), in King George Island, Antarctica, was screened and characterized for the ability to produce agarase and alginate-lyase enzymatic activities. Our strain INACH002 was identified as a member of the genus Flavobacterium, closely related to Flavobacterium faecale, using 16S rRNA gene analysis. The INACH002 strain was characterized as psychrotrophic due to its optimal temperature (17ºC) and maximum temperature (20°C) of growth. Agarase and alginate-lyase displayed enzymatic activities within a range of 10°C to 50°C, with differences in the optimal temperature to hydrolyze agar (50°C), agarose (50°C) and alginate (30°C) during the first 30 min of activity. Strain Flavobacterium INACH002 is a promising Antarctic biotechnological resource; however, further research is required to illustrate the structural and functional bases of the enzymatic performance observed during the degradation of different substrates at different temperatures.

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