Characterization of Some Salt-Tolerant Bacterial Hydrolases with Potential Utility in Cultural Heritage Bio-Cleaning
Microorganisms. 2022 Mar 17;10(3):644. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms10030644.
Salt-tolerant enzymes produced by halophilic and halotolerant microorganisms have been proposed to be used in various applications that involve high saline conditions. Considering their biotechnological significance and the current need for more efficient producers of such catalysts, the present study aimed to evaluate the extracellular proteolytic, esterolytic, cellulolytic and xylanolytic activities of some halotolerant strains, and to characterize their functional parameters. A total of 21 bacterial and fungal strains belonging to the genera Bacillus, Virgibacillus, Salinivibrio, Salinicoccus, Psychrobacter, Nocardiopsis, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Emericellopsis were assayed by quantitative methods. Among them, the members of the Bacillus genus exhibited the highest catalytic activities. The exoenzymes produced by three selected Bacillus strains were active over wide ranges of salinity, temperature and pH. Proteases were active at 20-80 °C, pH 6-10, and 0-1 M NaCl, while esterases showed good catalytic activities at 20-80 °C, pH 7.5-10, and 0-4 M NaCl. Cellulases and xylanases were active at 20-80 °C, pH 5-10, and 0-5 M NaCl. Due to such properties, these hydrolases could be used in a newly proposed application, namely to clean aged consolidants and organic deposits accumulated over time from the surfaces of salt-loaded wall paintings.