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Screening of Nonfilamentous Bacteria for Production of Cutin-Degrading Enzymes

By W. F. Fett, H. C. Gerard, R. A. Moreau, S. F. Osman and L. E. Jones


Two hundred thirty-two nonfilamentous bacterial strains, including saprophytes, plant pathogens, and opportunistic plant and human pathogens, were screened for the ability to produce cutinases (cutin-degrading esterases). Initially, esterase activity of culture filtrates of strains grown in nutrient broth-yeast extract medium supplemented with 0.4% apple or tomato cutin was determined by a spectrophotometric assay utilizing the model substrate p-nitrophenyl butyrate. The culture filtrates of the 10 Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains tested exhibited the highest esterase activity, with values of >500 nmol/min/ml. Of these 10 strains, 3 (K799, 1499A, and DAR41352) demonstrated significant induction (10-fold or above) of esterase activity by addition of cutin to nutrient broth-yeast extract medium. The ability of culture filtrates of the three strains to cause release of apple cutin monomers was confirmed by a novel high-performance liquid chromatography technique. Monomer identification was confirmed by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy analyses. Addition of the nonionic detergent n-octylglucoside stimulated cutinase activity of culture filtrates from strains K799 and DAR41352, but not that of filtrates from strain 1499A. Time course studies in nutrient broth-yeast extract medium supplemented with apple cutin indicated maximal levels of cutinase in the culture fluids after cultures entered stationary phase. Incubation temperatures below the optimal temperature for growth (37°C) led to maximal production of cutinase

Topics: Microorganism-Plant Interactions
Year: 1992
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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