EXPLORATION OF HALOPHILIC BACTERIAL DIVERSITY FOR THE PRODUCTION OF INDUSTRIALLY IMPORTANT EXTRACELLULAR HYDROLYTIC ENZYMES
Halophiles are basically extremophiles that are able to live in salty conditions through unique adaptations. The property of halophilism is widespread within the bacterial domain. Bacterial halophiles are found abundant in environments such as salt lakes, saline soils, salt mines, salterns and salted food products. The commercial importance of halophiles has been recorded since ancient times. This study reports the isolation, identification and screening of halophilic bacteria from boring water for the production of valuable industrial enzymes with unique characteristics. Qualitative plate assays were used to screen the productivity of halophilic enzymes. Eight strains were isolated from two boring water samples, obtained from different areas of Karachi. On the basis of Gram staining, most of the isolated halophilic strains were cocci. The isolated strains SNA1-2, SNA1-3and SNA1-4 showed the highest hydrolytic potential as they produce amylase, cellulase, gelatinase, caseinase, and β-galactocidase enzyme. Amylolytic enzymes were recorded to be mostly produced enzymes by all strains (100%).All strains revealed salt tolerance profile up to 8% NaCl concentration. SNA1-1, SNA1-2, SNA2-2, and SNA2-4 showed high salt tolerance as compared to other strains as they tolerated 15% salinity. According salt tolerance profile, carried out in this study, the isolated strains were classified as slightly and moderately halophilic. Thus, these halophilic hydrolytic enzymes may be of great interest for several industrial setups that require harsh parameter of salt concentration.