Molecular characterization and screening of halophiles for the production of biopolymers
Shifa A. G Jamadar, Zeba A. S Shaikh, Vinod P. S, M. B. Sulochana
Biopolymers are polymers, generated from renewable natural sources, are often biodegradable and not toxic to produce. They can be produced by microorganisms, plants and animals. Halophiles are organisms that prefer to live in habitats “cum grano salis” (with a grain of salt), like saline and hypersaline environments with sodium chloride concentrations upto saturation. The aim of the present work includes isolation of halophiles from saline soil and water samples obtained from coastal regions of Karnataka like Karwar, using halophilic medium with 10% NaCl. Out of 10 strains isolated, strains VSZ1 and VSZ2 were screened for the production of biopolymers like biosurfactants and extracellular hydrolytic enzymes. The 16S rRNA gene sequencing, molecular characterization and identification of strains was carried out and their evolutionary relationship was studied by phylogenetics. These biopolymers from halophiles are gaining tremendous importance because of their high stability in extreme salt conditions, with wide industrial and pharmacological applications.