This study aims at characterizing new chicken feather-degrading bacteria isolated from soils of keratinic waste collected from four dumping sites of Ngaoundere. Fifteen proteolytic bacteria were isolated with three (D1, D2 and F1) showing the capacity to degrade feather in Basal Salt Media. Highest degradation rate (71.11 ± 3.05%) of feather was obtained from isolate D2 from Municipal slaughterhouse. The partial characterization of the strain D2 based on morphological and biochemical tests revealed that it is a Bacillus sp. The keratinolytic activity was positively correlated to the bacterial growth with the highest value (13.76 U.ml-1) obtained at the stationary phase after 120 h of incubation. The optimal conditions for the keratinolytic activity of this isolate were determined to be pH 8.0 and temperature of 45°C. Thus, the Bacillus strain (D2) isolated is a promising strain for the management and valorization of feather wastes.
Key words: Chicken feather-degrading bacteria, keratinolytic enzyme activity, characterization, Ngaoundere, Cameroon.
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