Biosynthesis and Control of Keratinase in Recalcitrant Feather-Degrading Bacillus megaterium F7-1

  • Jeong, Jin-Ha (Department of Life Science and Environmental Biochemistry, Pusan National University) ;
  • Lee, Na-Ri (Department of Life Science and Environmental Biochemistry, Pusan National University) ;
  • Jeon, Young-Dong (Department of Life Science and Environmental Biochemistry, Pusan National University) ;
  • Kim, Jeong-Do (Department of Life Science and Environmental Biochemistry, Pusan National University) ;
  • Park, Ki-Hyun (Department of Life Science and Environmental Biochemistry, Pusan National University) ;
  • Park, Geun-Tae (Research and University-Industry Cooperation, Pusan National University) ;
  • Son, Hong-Joo (Department of Life Science and Environmental Biochemistry, Pusan National University)
  • Received : 2010.08.12
  • Accepted : 2010.09.08
  • Published : 2010.09.30


This study was performed to investigate the nutritional conditions controlling keratinase activity in Bacillus megaterium F7-1. B. megaterium F7-1 produced keratinase using chicken feather as a sole source of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur. Addition of the feather medium with glucose enhanced keratinase production (68.9 U/ml), compared to control without glucose (63.2 U/ml). The synthesis of keratinase was repressed by addition of $NH_4Cl$ in B. megaterium F7-1. The highest keratinase production (70.9 U/ml) was obtained with the feather medium containing glucose and $MgSO_4{\cdot}7H_2O$. Keratinase was produced in the absence of feather (4.9 U/ml), indicating its constitutive synthesis. Feather degradation resulted in free SH group formation. B. megaterium F7-1 effectively degraded chicken feather meal (86%), whereas duck feather, human nail, human hair and sheep wool displayed relatively low degradation rates (8-34%).


Supported by : Pusan National University


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